Move out on the highway...
looking for adventure...
in whatever comes our way... born to be wild(ish) sorta.


© 2009 All Rights reserved


NOTE: Click on pictures of interest to increase size

September 11, 2009

Excellent Adventure 5 "2009 911 RIde"

Remember 911 Ride
From Cook's Corner
Trabuco Canyon, CA
To 257 Bennett Avenue
Long Beach, California

History: On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people perished in three unthinkable disasters – at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and in an open field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.



Of those lost on that terrible day...
over 400 were "first responders "...
which included 343 NYFD firefighters
and paramedics and 60 NYPD officers.



As a tribute... and in remembrance...
every year while an entire nation looks back,
so does one dedicated man...Gary Biggerstaff
of the Long Beach Fire Department...

For the last seven years, on this solemn day, he has organized a Remember 911 Ride involving hundreds of motorcycle riders... that courses through 50-miles of winding canyons and through famous beach towns along the beautiful coast of Orange County.


The Remember 911 Ride always starts mid-afternoon on September 11th at Cook's Corner – one of the most famous biker bars in Southern California – and ends up at Gary Biggerstaff's home in Long Beach...



Where... every year... he faithfully
displays 343 small white crosses...



Each bearing the name and station of a
fellow firefighter who was lost on that day...



As the ride comes to an end... bikers, friends, neighbors
and fellow firemen – hundreds upon hundreds – gather
for an emotional and fitting tribute to these fallen heroes.

On this day in 2009... I chose to also add one more name
to those being remembered. My father was a firefighter
in Florida... and he passed away just two years ago.



And on this ride, in remembrance, I chose to
wear his T-shirt bearing Fire Rescue District 2...




_______________________________

The Day of September 11, 2009

We met at Rocco's house and added American flags to
the HDw/SC (Harley-Davidson with Sidecar) for the ride.



Time to go...



and we are off... on another excellent adventure...



It was a basic 101 beautiful day in sunny
Southern California... and we enjoyed the ride
toward the mountains and up to Cook's Corner.



As we neared our destination...



we immediately noticed that bikes were lined-up
wa-a-a-a-y before we ever got to Cook's Corner.



Slowing down and marveling at the sight...
we saw Cook's coming up on our left...



Still more bikes...



and more bikes...



Passing Cook's... bikes stretched hundreds of
yards past... and down the side road as well...



We hung a U-turn and headed back...



This was going to be a spectacular day...



We pulled in and joined the growing numbers...
Meet lovely Heidi from Los Alamitos...



While Rocco readied the HDw/SC for the ride...





I checked out the antique firetruck that would be
part of today's ride... and driven by Rob Blade...



I also started a rough count of bikes...
200... maybe 300...



no... make that 400... 500...
actually, it was upwards of 600...
and fast approaching 700... yikes !




While waiting for the kick-off hour...
Cook's Corner threw a welcome for
the riders that included a great band.







Here are buddies Judy, Jojo and Maryanne
collecting a donation for the firefighters...






We met up with another ride buddy... Michael...
and his two friends Jan and Lori...



It was fast approaching 3:15 and time to ride...



and you could feel the excitement build...



Then... at 3:15...



" Let's Roll ! "
video
Now push both "play" Buttons and scroll along
as we ride
from Cook's Corner to Long Beach
(push more than once if needed)








The line-up in front of us...



And the line-up behind...



Time to go...














































































Fire Departments were there to greet us
in each and every city along the way...



























Entering Corona Del Mar...


































































A retired fire captain stood on the corner...



and slauted every rider as they passed by...
while the women behind him applauded...





















An Orange County fire boat saluted the riders...




















































After a long and exciting 3-hour ride... the bikes pulled into Joe's Crab Shack for a quick rest and refreshment break...







We also met up with our road trip
bike "buddies"... Martha and Jeff






New friends Carolyn and Tim Duchene
on Joe's deck overlooking the harbor



Soon... it was time to re-group...



and to head for the last stop...
the 911 Ceremony at Gary Biggerstaff's






LBPD police block traffic as riders
turned onto Biggerstaff's street...



The 700-plus bikers were joined by hundreds
of neighbors, friends and fellow firemen...



for an emotional remembrance that
underscored the singular thought on
everyone's mind at that moment...
and... on that day...



" We will never forget..."



Please press the "play" button
(push more than once if needed)

video

And so ends our Excellent Adventure 5...






" Stay tuned... more soon "