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Monday, May 9, 2011

9 May - First day of the Tour

Today started early as they all do when we are out riding. The ride started just a little bit after 7, so that means there was breakfast and getting our bags to the trucks a good little bit before that. It was just as impressive to see the number of riders assembling in the parking lot as it was last year. the nice thing this year was that there was no wind and it was at least ten degress warmer.

Here are a couple of parking lot shots.

John getting a little stretch in pre-ride. John and I getting ready to roll.

This year Mark took on the role of ride marshal. We could not find him prior to the beginning of the ride to get a group photo. As as a reminder Michelle is doing the challenge ride this year and was actually arriving today. Because she is going this alternate route we will not see her until we get to the stadium in DC.

So far we could not ask for better weather. And especially when we compare it to what we experienced on the first day last year. As you can see pretty much everyone was wearing shorts this morning. Unheard of last year. By the time we reached our first stop pretty much everyone shed the riding jackets and finished the day in their riding jersey. We even ended the day with noticable tan lines ... crazy.
Hey there he is. We were able to catch up with Mark at the rest stop. This shot was taken before we ventured into Manhattan and Ground Zero.

Each year there are a number of motorcycle officers that participate as support officers for the Tour. Most of the motors come from around the general area. It is impressive and good to see when motors are participating from the west coast. Last year Oakland PD brought over 20 motors out. This year the LAPD and LASD brought numerous. The riders on the left are LAPD and the right is LASD.

So one of the highlights of the day was riding into Manhattan. We got to accomplish this via the Holland Tunnel. John and I were able to get very near to the front of the line to make the trip into Manhattan and Ground Zero. The photo on the left is us about to enter the tunnel. The center is travelling in the tunnel and the right is John's smiling face as we made our way. For those that are not aware, the Holland Tunnel is just about 1.5 miles in length. It was completed in 1927 and runs under the Hudson River connecting Manhattan and Jersey City, NJ. The tunnel was completely closed to vehicular traffic to allow us to make our trip into the city and back. Pretty awesome.

Without doubt the highlight of the day was our trip to Ground Zero. The only drawback to it was that we did not get to stop and take a more in depth look. It was surprising that the area the Twin Towers once occupied is truly not that large. The buildings in the area are very close to each other and these were the same. Of course there is a lot more depth to the area then these pictures depict, but it was an awesome experience to be there and see the location of this most harrowed of attacks.

We came back to Jersey City after our visit to Manhattan to have lunch. Here is a shot of the ride marshals having their pre-departure meeting. Mark is in there somewhere. Last year we had the honor of meeting Craig Floyd at this stop. Mr. Floyd is the president of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Foundation. This is where the money raised by the Police Unity Tour goes to support such things as cleaning/maintenance of the wall and the new Law Enforcement Museum. This year we had the honor to meet Chief William Bratton. Chief Bratton is the former commissioner of Boston PD, Commissioner of the NYPD and retired as the Chief of the Los Angeles PD. We took a photo with him but it is on John's camera. I will try to get it uploaded soon.

As last year on our way out of Jersey City we ride by the main police station. Greeting us were several department employees including their honor guard. Great traditions here on the east coast.

Tomorrow brings the first of our back to back 100 mile days. Many of the riders have had little training time because of weather conditions where they live. We certainly fit the bill on this one. As a result the increased temperature today made for a lot of very tired people. If tomorrow bringst the same for weather it will be a long day.

Stay tuned ... and thanks for following.

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to post a little pep "hooray" for you guys. It's so awesome that you're doing this. Those 100 mile days will be over before you know it! Thanks for your posts and pictures. It's fun to follow along! :)
    Good luck!!!