Carl's Harley Rides
  


TAIWAN, 2013

Run For The Wall, 2013

EAST COAST RIDE, 2012

HIGHWAY 50, 2011

STURGIS, 2011

  MILWAUKEE
  ROUTE 66,
2011

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Carl's Article about the "
Run For The Wall "  Ride - May 2013

 

 

     This ride was started 25 years ago as a Vietnam Veterans ride. It now honors all veterans and the motto is “Ride for those that can’t”, the POW (Prisoners of War) and the MIA (Missing in Action). All riders are welcome on the run, you don’t have to be a Veteran.

     The riders gathered in Rancho Cucamonga CA to register and get instructions for the ride to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC, know as “The Wall”. The group of 900 riders were into two different groups. Half were taking the Southern Route and the other half were taking the Central Route. We took the Central route. Along the way, riders would dropped out for other destinations and others riders would joined in. The size of the group stayed pretty constant.

     All of my buddies, 10 in all, were in Troop 3. This ride is conducted in a military style. It is a bit irritating at times, especially when it comes to riding in formation. The bikes are made to ride much too close to each other for my comfort. So I was getting yelled at a lot to tighten the formation up.

     The route is published, so along the way people and towns prepared to honor all the Veterans. You would be miles from any town and up on top of an over pass would be one to 10 people that waiting hours to have the opportunity to wave an American flag as the riders went by.

     Many towns set up parade route for us to ride through and the streets would be lined with people waving flags and cheering our arrival. Schools would close so that the children could join in with the parade festivities.

     In New Mexico, the state police escorted our group through the state, blocking traffic and on ramps, so we could ride thru unobstructed. They only do this for the president of the United States when he comes into the state and for the riders of the RFTW. It is very impressive.

     We went to an Indian reservation where there was a ceremony and dancing in our honor.

There was a team of volunteers that ride ahead of the troops. They close out a prearranged gas station for our arrival. There are two volunteers working each pump. The riders line up two abreast at each pump. One volunteer hands you the nasal to fill your tank, while the other takes the money for the gas of the rider by your side. We had to carry a number of 5 and one dollar bills, because you don’t get any change, you simply move out. The extra money goes to pay for gas for the chase vehicles. They follow and pickup any bikes that brake down along the way. It is hard to believe, but 350 motorcycles fuel up in just over 10 minutes. Many of the gas stops were sponsored by Veteran groups or the local Harley Davidson dealer so the gas was free.

     A light breakfast was provided every day at the morning meetings. Lunch and dinners were provided by different Veteran organizations or towns. If you choose, you wouldn’t have to buy a single meal for the entire 10 day ride to DC.

     Each night there was a campground available at minimal or no charge for those that wanted. I stayed in hotels and motels with a roommate.

     We got to see some beautiful country and usually the weather was pretty good. But you may remember that in May, there were 4 days that tornadoes popped up in the mid-west, with the final day being the tornado that killed 24 people in Oklahoma. For those 4 days we were as close as 50 miles from these tornadoes. I chose not to ride with the group these days. I would get into town a couple of hours before the group. This turned out to be a wise choice because each day the storm would catch up to us. I would arrive early and dry.  The troops would get drenched in the down poor. One day I arrived at the hotel at 4:00 pm. At 11:30 that night, we were awakened by a phone call from one of our friends that had just pulled in. He and his luggage were socked and the motel had given his room away because he didn’t show up by 6:00.

     I did this ride in 2010. I wanted to show the ropes to some friends I had been trying to get to do this ride. This ride is the most rewarding and memorable ride I have experienced in 12 years of touring some 300,000 miles.

sincerely, Carl

          [ click one of the pictures for enlargement ]

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The Start of the Ride

 
 

Picture Frame for Your Photo

 
 
Gas Stop

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Flag Honors



Motorcycle Museum



 . . . more Bikes

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Welcome on many Bridges on the Way



More Honors



and it Rained

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Patrick, Carl and Tony



West Virginia Capitol



Patrick Broke the Rules

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Tribute Truck



The Vietnam Veteran Memorial
- THE WALL -



Gas Stop

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Wine Stop



Getting into Formation



Clever Motorcycle Trailer

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Respects given every Morning to our Vets



Troops Taking Off . . .



. . . on the Way

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Standing on the Corner



In Winslow Arizona



All Riders Pull into the Platoon - We're in #3

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Fully Loaded



Troops at Gas Stop



Welcome to Arizona

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Route 66 Break



Crater Visit



Tony and I looking at the Crater

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Historic Mexican Restaurant



Large Meteorite



Celebrating our Arrival

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Meteor Crater in USA 
MAP



Welcoming Committee



Indian Reservation

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The Black Guard Society



Carl Going Down the Road



Welding Tank Bells

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Wild Hogs
Movie Location - Madrid AZ



Convoy for Miles



Saluting the Troops

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Pulling in the Memorial



Vietnam Memorial



Memorial Ceremony

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Roadside View



Steph, taking a Break



More Roadside Views

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Another Gas Stop



Next Arrival



Honored Arrival

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Entrance to Town



 



Old West Memorial

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Couple miles in front of the Tornado



Well Wishes

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More Warm Welcome



We are Hours ahead of the Tornado
that took 24 lives

 

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Honoring Veterans - saluting the Flag



Approaching Lunch Stop



 
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State Police Escort through the State



Steph at the Statue

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Convoy with over 450 Bikers

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More Well Wishes



Helicopter Escort to Town



 

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Bagpipe Players



RFTW Riders at the Lincoln Memorial
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Honda Trike with Side Car

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Patrick in the Cold



Our Group at the Lunch

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Professional . . .



Arlington Memorial

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On the Step



George Washington's House



Troop Leader with Tony and Steph
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Entrance to THE WALL



Over 5000 Names on the Wall

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The Vietnam Veteran Memorial
- THE WALL -

 

 
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      all images are copyright by Carl Weitzel 2013                    size 333 pixel

    
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