Motorcyclists Ride to Remember - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Motorcyclists Ride to Remember

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Ten fatal motorcycle accidents happened in the Erie area this year. On Saturday, more than 100 bikers gathered for a memorial ride called the "Fallen Rider Ride," to remember those men and women.

To be a motorcyclist is to be part of a family, according to those who ride.

"Everybody that rides, it's more like we're brothers, we're sisters. It's more like we're just one huge family," said Kris May, an Erie resident. "We come together for everything."

"The biker community is a very tight-knit community. We look out for each other, and we do as much as we possibly  can to support one another," said John Burkhart, another Erie area resident.

Today these bikers have come together for the Fallen Rider Ride, which remembers the 10 people who have died in motorcycle accidents just this year.

"I actually lost like my cousin, who was like my brother," said May. "He left my house, told her that he'd be right back, went up the street, and a car turned left in front of him and killed him."

"I've had a lot of good friends go down lately. It's really sad when you see that," said Mike Shumaker, a Conneaut resident.

"I'm going to ride for Elliot," said John Groh, a Millcreek resident. Elliot is the son of a family friend who passed away from an accident in August. "It was just so tragic when he was killed."

Given the danger in riding, why do people still ride?

"When you've got your face in the wind, there's nothing like it," said Shumaker with a grin. "You can't compare it to anything else. It gets in your blood and you can't give it up."
"It's a freedom. You can have the worst day in the world, and you get on your bike, and you lose all your worries," said Vince Rizzone, one of the founders of Mission Riders.

"It's tragic that we have to get together for this reason, but it's important to remember what it's all about," said Groh. "There have been way too many people killed in northwestern Pennsylvania this year."

The bikers today are not only remembering the people who they have lost, they are also sending a message to drivers: please be careful.

"Take a second look. Sometimes when you see a motorcycle coming towards you, it might be hard to tell how fast we're coming. Maybe wait a couple of extra seconds for us to go by," said Tracy Rizzone, a co-founder of Mission Riders.

"I just wish the motorists would be more aware of us. You gotta share the road with everybody," said May.

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