TorchesAcrossAmerica

Torches Across America (TAA) is a motorcycle ride for all riders who want to show their respect to everyone who lost their lives and to the family's who lost their loved ones on that sad morning of September 11, 2001. TAA takes nine days, starting on the West Coast (Sept 3rd). Ride the whole trip, just through your state or a few miles when it comes in your area. If you can not take time to ride on the ride, everyone is welcome to be with us at any of the stops we make going across the country.

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Location: Kimberling City, Missouri

Friday, December 29, 2006

Banner showing the hosts for the 2006 Torches Across America in Cambridge, OH

I thank Dana Rush, Sales Director for the Cambridge, OH Holiday INN for making all this possible. I should of had this picture posted a long time ago.

Also are some of the Taa riders.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2007 Torches Across America 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride schedule

Hi Everyone here is what I have of the 2007 ride schedule so far.

I have changed the motel we will be staying at before the ride starts in Oceanside, CA. Instead of staying at the Ramada Limited in Oceanside, CA we will be staying at the San Marcos, CA Ramada Limited, 517 San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos CA 92069. Their phone number is (760) 471-2800. I have not set anything up with them yet but I did make my reservations with Allstays.

I was able to get a room rate of $59.00 plus 10% tax from the Allstays web site. Allstays web site address is www.allstays.com. My wife and I will be staying there from 8/30 - 9/1.

I found out that the Ramada Limited in Oceanside was going to sock it to everyone on the price, me included. So I decided to just drop them.

Remember everyone this is Labor Day weekend so make your reservations now even if your just thinking about being on the ride. You can always cancel them later if you do not want to go on the ride.


September 1, 2007

Saturday, September 1st; which is (Labor Day weekend) leave from Kennedy’s Custom Cycle in Oceanside, CA and ride to Kingman, AZ. 379 miles

Please remember we lose one hour of travel time on this days ride because of time the change.

8:00am; the Memorial Service and blessing of the bikes will start at Kennedy’s Custom Cycles, 3028 San Louis Rey Rd, Oceanside, CA 92054, (760) 967-5883. Our host in Oceanside is Bill Kennedy and some CMA members working with Bill..

9:00am; we will leave from Kennedy’s Custom Cycles and ride to Victorville, CA.

11:30am; we will arrive at Victorville Harley-Davidson,14522 Valley Center Dr., Victorville, CA 92392, (760) 951-1119, for a Memorial Service and Lunch. Our host in Victorville is Cary & Marianne Fisher owners of Victorville Harley-Davidson. This ride means a lot to Cary because he is a retired firefighter from NYC.

1:00pm; we will leave from Victorville Harley-Davidson and ride to Kingman, AZ.

6:30pm; we will arrive at the Kingman, AZ VFW Post 10386. Located at 2985 E. John L. Ave, Kingman, AZ 86409, (928) 757 - 7192, for a Memorial Service and Dinner. We will pay for our own dinners. Our host in Kingnam is the Kingman VFW Post 10386. Great people, 2006 year was the first year they hosted us and they only had a couple of weeks to put it together.

The evening of September 1, 2006.
Kingman, AZ. The Travelodge, 3275 E Andy Devine Ave., Kingman, AZ 86401, is where my wife and I will be staying. Rooms 1 to 2 people $50.00 plus tax and rooms for 2 to 4 people $60.00 plus tax. Their phone number is (928) 757-1188 and tell them your with the Torches Across America 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride. If you have any problems making your reservation ask for Carol, she is the manager. They fill up on Labor Day weekend so make your reservations early.


September 2, 2007

Sunday, September 2nd; we will leave from Kingman, AZ at 7:00am and ride to Albuquerque, NM. 466 miles

3:00pm; everyone needs to be at the TA Truck Stop (Travel Center of America Truck Stop) in Gallup, NM (505) 863-6801. You take Exit 16 off I- 40 east. Turn left when getting off of the exit ramp and as you go up the street the TA Truck Stop is on your right. Riders need to be fueled and ready to go by 3:30 pm.

3:30pm; we will leave from the TA Truck Stop and be escort by Cyber to the Rt. 66 Travel Center/ Casino Exit I- 40 off I - 40.

5:30pm; we will arrive at the Rt.66 Travel Center. Riders need to get fueled and be ready to go by 6:15pm. At this time the Albuquerque, NM Blue Knights VI and Albuquerque Fraternal Order of Police Lodge I, will be our host. They have arranged for the New Mexico State Police to escort us into Albuquerque.

6:15pm; the New Mexico State Police will escort us into Albuquerque. The last couple of year they have escorted us to the Albuquerque Fraternal Order of Police Lodge I. But this year the Lodge might be under new construction so I will let you know later where they are going to escort us two.

7:00pm Memorial Service and Dinner will start. Our host in Albuquerque are the Albuquerque Blue Knights VI, Albuquerque Fraternal Order of Police, Graham Central Station and the Dawn Patrol. All our host in Albuquerque are super and all the riders appreciate them.

Evening of September 2, 2007

We will be spending the night in Albuquerque, NM and I will tell you where later.


September 3, 2007

Monday, September 3rd; we will leave from Albuquerque, NM and ride to Amarillo TX. 289 miles

Please remember we lose one hour of travel time on this days ride because of time the change.

We will start our day as we did on the 2006 ride. So bring your cameras.

Craig Kennedy said the Dawn Patrol will start setting up their hot air balloons no later then 5:15am and will take to the air at 5:45am. So we will stage at the FOP at 4:30am. We will be escorted at 4:45am to Balloon Park for the "Pre-Dawn Patrol".
What they are doing on the morning of September 4, 2006 is of great significance:

1) They will be doing their version of a candle light visual for all the men, women and children that died on 9/11 and for the men and women in our Armed Forces that have died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. When the gas heats up the air inside the balloons the balloons will shine brightly in the skies above Albuquerque.

2) When the morning sun starts to shine it will represent the bright side that always follows a dark moment. Sometimes a dark moment in time can feel like a life time but inevitably the bright side emerges.
On 9/11 America was in the state of shock and despair but during the days after 9/11 that was slowly being uplifted because of the how proud we were of America’s First Call Responders. America became united more so then it ever had been before. That is the bright side of 9/11 and it is all because of America’s First Call Responders.

3) Their taking to the air will be the kick off for all the 9/11 events planned for the State of New Mexico. It will also let every First Call Responder in New Mexico know that Governor Bill Richardson has made 9/11 "First Call Responders Recognition Day" in New Mexico. We hope he will do it again in 2007.

A member of the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association, Kevin Cloney, told me that every year since 9/11 the AAAA has given rides to First Call Responders on the Saturday before 9/11. That is really super of them.

6:30am we will leave Balloon Park and go on a escorted scenic ride to Amarillo TX.

Last year Victor Lioce wanted to take us to the Albuquerque Vietnam Memorial so I am hoping he will offer to do it again this year as part of our scenic route. Victor is a member of the Santa Fe, NM Blue Knights II.

While on the scenic route we will be going through Santa Fe, NM and it is a very beautiful city. Did you know they have an escalator in Santa Fe. Funny thing is, it only goes up. You have to take the stairs to come back down. They have a great Mexican restaurant on that upper floor maybe we can eat lunch there.

We have no set time to be in Amarillo, TX. We can all eat dinner at the famous “The Big Texan Steak Ranch Restaurant” in Amarillo, TX. The time will be decided on when we arrive in Amarillo.

Evening of September 3, 2007

We will be staying at the Amarillo Holiday Inn and I will tell you about it later.


September 4, 2007

Tuesday, September 4th; we will leave Amarillo, TX and ride to Tulsa, OK. 367 miles

I will get with Joe Sewell and see what were going to do on Tuesday.

We will be having a Memorial Service and Dinner at the Tulsa American Legion Post 308 at 7:00pm. Our host in Tulsa is the Tulsa American Legion post 308. Great people and they have been hosting us since the 2002 TAA ride.

Evening of September 4, 2007

We will be staying at the Tulsa Econo Lodge and I will tell you more about it later.


September 5, 2007

Wednesday September 5th; we will leave Tulsa, OK and ride to Branson, MO. 226 miles

We might be riding to Branson on a scenic route, will let you know later. I need to ride it to see how long it will take.

There are six cities in the Branson, MO area that have made 9/11 a Recognition Day for their cities First Call Responders and by us coming to the Branson area we will help get their communities ready for it.

We do need to be in Branson before 5:00pm. This way we can check into our motel before going to the Bart Rockett Theater for the Bart Rockett show at 5:00pm.

Bart Rockett is dedicating his show to the areas First call Responders and Armed Forces members. Not long after Branson passed the resolution making 9/11 a Recognition Day for their cities First Call Responders Bart Rockett dedicated a show for them and when I asked if he would do it again he said yes. He not only said he would do it but all the entertainers that put on shows at his theater said they would do a dedication show also.

The Branson Brother’s will dedicate their 8:00pm show and the Motown Experience is going to dedicate their morning show.

The cost for our admission is $10.00 per person per show and a canned food item would also be greatly appreciated. I thank it is great what they are doing for the areas First Call Responders and Armed Forces members. I will be at all three shows.

Evening of September 5, 2007

We will be spending the night in Branson, MO and I will tell you where later.


September 6, 2007

Thursday, September 6th; we will leave from Branson, MO and ride to Troy, IL. 276 miles

4:30 to 5:00pm we will meet at a prearranged location on the west side of St. Louis, MO for an escorted ride by the Missouri State Highway Patrol to the Illinois state line. We will then be escorted by the Illinois State Police to the first exit in Illinois so we can join up with other riders from the area before being escorted to Troy, Il Civic Park for a Memorial Service and Dinner hosted by the Troy, Il VFW Post 976.

7:00 the Memorial Service will start at Civic Park followed by a dinner and a band..

The City of Troy, Il and other area cities and organizations around Troy have join together in honoring their cities First Call Responders and Armed Forces members. (Go to the “Thank You” page on the www.torchesacrossamerica.com web site and you can see who helped with the Memorial Service and Dinner last year in Troy.

This is the biggest Memorial Service and Dinner put together by a city we stop at on our way to the east coast. When you experience this Memorial Service and Dinner you can see why they say mid America is the heart land of America.

They are real super people and were blessed to have them. Our host in Troy, Il is the Troy VFW Post 976 and many others. Roger Alons a member of the Troy VFW Post 976 works very hard to get all these people together to put this event on.

Please go to the “Photos” page on the www.torchesacrossamerica.com web site and see the pictures taken in Troy. It will give you a warm feeling inside.

Evening of September 6, 2007

We will be spending the night in Troy, IL and I will tell you where later.


September 7, 2007

Friday, September 7th; we will leave Troy, IL and ride to Cambridge, OH. 483 miles

Please remember we lose one hour of travel time on this days ride because of time the change.

6:00am to 7:00am breakfast at the Troy, IL VFW 976.

7:00am leave the VFW and ride to the Love’s Truck Stop on the east side of Zanesville, OH and be there by 6:30pm. It is on I - 70 East Exit 160.

7:00pm; we will have an escorted ride into Cambridge, OH and arrive at Wal-Mart in Cambridge, OH, 61216 Southgate Parkway, Cambridge, OH 43725. The phone number is (740)439-5743

7:30pm; Mayor/City Council's Fire/Police festivities start. There will be things to eat after the Festivities.

This is the second biggest Memorial Service put together by a city we stop at on our way to the east coast. You can tell were still in the heart land of America during this cities Memorial Service and Recognition to its areas First Call Responders and Armed Forces members.

Our hosts last year in Cambridge, OH was the Holiday Inn, Wal-Mart, Dunning Motor Sales, Free Mason's of OH, Speedy Print and Xango and it was organized by Dana Rush, Sales Director of the Cambridge Holiday Inn.

Evening of September 7, 2007

Cambridge, OH The Holiday Inn 2248 Southgate Parkway Cambridge, OH 43725 is where my wife and I will be staying. Room for 1 to 4 people $59.00 plus tax. It includes a hot breakfast and coffee. Their phone number is (740)432-7313 and tell them your with the Torches Across America 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride.


September 8, 2007

Saturday,September 8th; we will leave Cambridge, OH and ride to Washington DC. 340 miles

As of now what my plans are, is that when we arrive in Washington DC we will go straight to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I will tell you the time later.

Evening of September 8, 2007

We will be spending the night in the Washington DC area and I will tell you where later.


September 9, 2007

Sunday, September 9th; we will leave from Washington DC. and ride to New York City. 224 miles

On Sunday morning we will start off our day joining Rex Howke and the "9-11 Rattle the Runway Ride" and ride from the Dulles International Airport to the Pentagon for a Memorial Service. I will tell you the time later.

After the “9-11 Rattle the Runway Ride” we will go see the Pentagon then head for NYC.

This year we are going to ride into the city. When we did the TAA ride in 2002 we rode the ferry into NYC. At the last part of the 2006 TAA ride there was a riders meeting in Bedford, PA and the riders said they would like to ride the ferry into NYC on the 2007 TAA ride. At this time I am trying to set everything up.

Evening of September 9, 2007

Triple E is trying to set us up with accommodations in New Jersey that will be close to ferry and subway access form the motel. It will cost us more but once you park your bikes at the motel you will not have to ride anywhere to just catch the ferry or subway into NYC.


September 10, 2007

Monday, September 10th; we will leave from New Jersey and ride to Somerset, PA. 303 miles

Peter Torchia & Pam Waller were on the ride last year and Peter is helping us get a host in Somerset this year. Peter grew up in this part of Pennsylvania and knows a lot of people in the area. When Peter tells me the plans for Somerset I will let you know.

Evening of September 10, 2007

We will be Soending the night in Somerset, PA and I will tell you where later.


September 11, 2007

Tuesday, September 11th; we will start our morning at the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel then we will go to the crash site of Flight 93 in Shanksville.

I am leaving all the arrangements for this day up to the CMA members. They did a great job last year and I have asked them to help plan it this year. They know where were best needed and at what times.

After the Memorial Services are over on September 11th that will be the end of the ride. My wife and I will spend the night at the same motel we stayed in on the evening of September 10th in Somerset, PA. At this time I am still working on that motel.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thank you Janice at Bikers USA (www.bikersmag.com) she just sent me this

First off, I thank Janice very much for doing this. It is a big complement for everyone that helps put the Torches Across America Ride together.

Motorcycle events companies do a great service for the Motorcycle Community and I can not thank Bikers USA enough for what they have done for Torches Across America.


Hi Gary,

I'm putting together a full page for you and will do some posts at some of the different states pages also. The full page will have maps of all the cities you're stopping at. I'm still working on it, but I think the url will be www.bikersmag.com/html/torches_across_america.html and it will be in the Bike Week section, because thats' where I list the major events.

I'm sure you, personally, are all set for maps, but for everyone else, would it be helpful if I put together one map which links to all the others, like I always do for Run for the Wall ? http://bikersusa.com/maps/rftw-southern.html
The maps themselves would probably be at the www.hotelmapsusa.com site, but I could probably put a primary map at either bikersusa.com or hotelmapsusa.com

Looks like everyone had a great ride in 2006 !


Janice

Bikers USA at www.bikersmag.com

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Date change for the begining of the ride. It will start on September 1st not the 2nd.

Hi Everyone,

The starting of the 2007 ride is being changed to September 1, 2007 instead of September 2, 2007.

The reason for this is because I want to show off my hometown area which has at this time six cities that have passed resolutions making 9/11 a "Recognition Day" for their cities First Call Responders.

I have talked to Bart Rockett the owner of the Bart Rockett Theater and on September 5th and 6th when we are in Branson, MO the shows at his theater are going to dedicate their shows to the areas First Call Responders and Armed Forces members.

There are three shows we can attend and the cost per show would be $10.00 per person.

I am also working with others in the area in hopes more theaters in the area will do something for our countries First Call Responders and Armed Forces members.

Albuquerque the morning the Dawn Patrol gave their version of a candlelight visual honoring the victims of 9/11 and our Fallen Warriors part 1

Here are some of New Mexico's best that escorted us that morning.













When putting the hot are into the balloon you can just kick back and!!!













Looks more like a snake than a balloon in the next two pictures.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Albuquerque the morning the Dawn Patrol gave their version of a candlelight visual honoring the victims of 9/11 and our Fallen Warriors part 2

Something really super happend that morning that the riders did not expect and that was they were asked if they would like to help put some of the balloons together.

So in these pictures you will see balloonist and riders working together to create this wonderful hot air balloon style candlelight visual. It was a great site to see.