INDIANAPOLIS— More than 100 bikers suited up and took off Friday for the 12th annual Governor’s Motorcycle Ride and for retired Army veteran Mike Palmer, it was familiar territory.
“I started doing Ride with the Governor with Mitch Daniels,” said Palmer.
While the annual Governor’s Motorcycle Ride has been a Hoosier staple since the 1980’s, Jay Jackson, executive director of American Bikers Aimed Toward Education, said it wasn’t until the Daniel’s administration that the governor led participants on the ride.
Bikers preapre for their ride from Statehouse-to-Statehouse. The participants started today neat the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis, before finishing at the the old Indiana Statehouse in Corydon. By Dustin Beach, TheStatehouseFile.com
“It started out really as an event to increase awareness of motorcycles on the road, motorcycle safety, and awareness,” said Jackson.
The ride also serves as a fundraiser for the Indiana National Guard relief fund, which helps guardsmen and their families here in Indiana.
“It’s really a win-win-win,” said Jackson. “We’re taking care of those who help us, we’re helping motorcyclists be more safe and are also maintaining our freedom on the road. We really appreciate those that serve both at home and abroad in the armed forces as well as public safety.”
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence spoke to crowd and said Indiana has made strides in improving the treatment of veterans over the past four years.
“We’ve doubled the budget for veteran’s affairs, we’ve opened up doors for veteran owned businesses, and I am proud to say today Indiana has the second lowest unemployment rate for veterans of any state in the United States of America,” said Pence.
Gov. Mike Pence speaks to riders before their departure. Pence joined the bikers on their ride. By Jackson Hughes, TheStatehouseFile.com
Pence also joked about his recently jam-packed schedule and said “motorcycle riding is not optional.”
For Palmer, it is refreshing to see political leaders out supporting riders and veterans.
“I am retired Army, and I think it’s great that the political powers to be never forget about vets, and this is a great step toward better treatment,” he said.
Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, also came out to show his support.
“There is nothing more Hoosier than getting out on a bike on a sunny day and seeing the scenery of Indiana, and doing it with friends and family,” Holcomb said. “So I just wanted to come by and say hello to long time friends.”
Jackson Hughes is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, news website powered by Franklin College Journalism students.