AMA’s Bike Night honors first responders, military on 20th anniversary of 9/11
September 14, 2021
By Keaton Maisano
Throughout the year the AMA and its Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Museum welcome those wishing to honor and learn about the history of motorcycling. However, on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, remembrance extended beyond the usual subject matter in a Bike Night community event meant to honor first responders and the military on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Community members strolled the AMA’s Pickerington, Ohio, campus to remember, give thanks and have fun. With riders parking their bikes throughout the parking lot, the diverse community of motorcycling was on full display.
Adding to the assortment of bikes was the Reynoldsburg Police Department, which sent three of its motorcycles. One of the department’s riders, officer Keith Loughry, said the event was a nice way for the community to show appreciation toward first responders.
“We love being here,” Loughry said. “This is a great event for everyone to come together as a community, as a country. It turned out great.”
Loughry, who has been riding motorcycles since he was 17 years old, and for around half a year for the Reynoldsburg PD, added that people approached him and his partners to thank them for their service.
Beyond the bikes, the Pickerington Police Department displayed its mobile crime scene unit, while an EMRAP Swat vehicle and a patrol car were brought by the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office.
Violet Township’s Fire Engine 593 was also parked outside, and several kids seized the opportunity to climb up and sit behind the wheel.
“We have had a lot of people come up and see the truck and talk to us about what we do and [ask] different questions,” firefighter paramedic Evan Martin said. “It’s nice to be able to talk to people.”
On the event’s focus on commemorating the events of 9/11, Martin mentioned the fire department’s emphasis on honoring the heroes and victims of the tragedy, and he described Bike Night’s focus to do the same as “awesome.”
Although a good opportunity to engage with and honor local first responders, the event retained the elements of past Bike Nights. Along with the plethora of motorcycles, food trucks — Burger Lab, Smoky Trail BBQ and Kona Ice — populated the parking lot.
For those looking for more of a thrill, the Adventure Bike Challenge offered riders the chance to traverse the ADV loop that runs throughout the AMA campus.
The riding was not just reserved for adults, however. STACYC, along with Iron Pony Motorsports, designed an area for kids aged 3-7 years old to ride electric-powered push bikes.
While people were enjoying the many activities, Capitol City Sounds provided the music that rang out during the beautiful, sunny evening.
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum offered an escape from the outdoor festivities as admission into the building was free to spectators looking to catch up on their motorcycling history.
Outside the museum, tent stands offered different opportunities to riders. From AMA memberships to safety and advocacy information, all a motorcyclist’s needs were covered.
Farlow Harley-Davidson, Rabid Customs and Ricart Automotive sponsored the event. Bike Night is set to return in the spring.