LACONIA — One of the deadliest events in New Hampshire history — the horrific accident last Saturday in Randolph resonated with two groups of people — motorcyclists, and, because the riders were all members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, veterans.
The plan for a “Memorial Ride for the Fallen 7” is for motorcyclists from all over New England to meet at various locations, then convene at the Broken Spoke Saloon in Laconia late morning on Saturday, July 6.
At noon, with an escort from N.H. State Police, the group will set off north on Route 3, turn onto Route 25 in Meredith and take that to Route 16 in Ossipee.
The ride, which will cover about 80 miles, will conclude at the site of the collision in Randolph, where seven motorcyclists died when a pickup truck crossed into their lane of traffic. There will be a wreath laying and a prayer. For those who wish, Mr. Pizza in Gorham has offered to close its doors to the public in order to provide food for the riders.
There’s no registration fee, but donations will be accepted, and a memorial patch will be sold, with all proceeds donated to the Jarheads MC, to be given to the families of the victims.
(In Conway, Lucy’s Ice Cream Shop at 76 Main St. announced it will match every cash contribution made to a donation jar. People may drop by to give from 1 p.m.-9 p.m. now until Sunday. The money will go to the Jarheads Victims and Families GoFundMe page.)
Memorial ride co-organizer Steve Allison, an Air Force veteran, lives in Manchester and works as a mechanic for Associated Grocers in Pembroke. Aside from a few small rides he’s organized for his motorcycle club, he said he’s never been involved with something like this. “It’s going to be extremely large, it’s going to be phenomenal,” he said.
Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, said the response to the tragedy shows the close bond that motorcyclists feel with one another. “Riders are riders. They all have that similar passion … We feel the loss.”
He said he hopes people — both riders and drivers — take extra care when they are on the road, especially now that they can see how deadly a collision can be.
Allison said, “It’s a family that comes together. We can’t remove the pain, but we can help people through this pain.”
More information about the ride can be found on Facebook at bit.ly/2IJnOFW.