2016 Patriot Ride Report & Photos

2016 Patriot Ride

Motorcycles by the thousands streamed into the Key Air facility at Anoka County Airport as a record turnout showed up for the 2016 Patriot Ride.

They flowed into Key Air Anoka County Airport by the thousands, flags mounted on their motorcycles whipping in the wind and a love for our country and military members in their hearts. On a sparkling Minnesota summer day, they came to honor the fallen, to herald the enlisted, and to share in the bonds that bring us together as Americans.

By all measures the 2016 Patriot Ride was a roaring success, this year’s event estimated to raise between $200,000 to $250,000 for the Minnesota Patriot Guard, Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund, the Minnesota Tribute to the Troops Chapter and Folds of Honor. Dennis Kirk President Bob Behan, the driving force behind the Patriot Ride, said overall the event has raised approximately $1.9 million in 11 years for Minnesota’s veteran organizations and their families. Even the weather was on board this year, sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s replacing rains of years past, a big factor in the record number of motorcycles that attended in 2016 with estimates ranging over 5,000.

The Honor Guard at attention, Patriot Ride 2016.

While members of the Patriot Parachute Team dazzled the crowd with death-defying dives in the sky above, the St. Paul Motor Unit delighted the crowd on the ground with its demonstration of amazing riding skills, dodging in and out of 18-foot-wide orange cone circles on big Harley Electra Glides that tip the scales at almost 900 pounds. The Donnie Smith Bike Show had an outstanding turnout, with Paul Lovas earning a huge trophy and a feature spread in American Iron Magazine for winning “Best of Show.” Don Halverson, a 93-year-old WWII veteran, was a special guest at the 2016 Patriot Ride. With a wit still sharp as a tack, Halverson told us he proudly served in Minnesota’s Red Bull Infantry Division, 168th Rainbow Regiment, 2nd Battalion. He was a member of G Company, 4th Platoon that he said was comprised of three machines guns and three mortars. Halverson got the rock star treatment at the event as a steady flow of fellow veterans came up to him to thank him for his service.

WWII vet Don Halverson Patriot Ride 2016

Fellow veterans share a laugh with WWII vet and special guest Don Halverson.

The level of patriotism displayed during the 50 mile ride through the Minnesota countryside was simply astonishing. People lined the route and waved flags frenetically, cars honked their horns, and everywhere you went people waved, waved, waved. One group held a “Never Forget” banner up high for all riders to see, words that sink into your soul. After the ride, there was no shortage of tears shed at the honorary “Laying of the Wreath and “Ringing of the Bell” ceremonies at the Soldier’s Cross.

Soldiers Cross Patriot Ride 2016

The “Laying of the Wreath” ceremony begins at the Soldier’s Cross at the Patriot Ride 2016.

To say the 2016 Patriot Ride was a moving experience doesn’t do it justice. But we’ll try in an upcoming feature article in American Iron Magazine. Until then, relive the ride vicariously courtesy of our photo gallery and check out videos on the American Iron Facebook page.

Patriot Ride, MN

July 9 Patriot Ride, MN 

Sponsored by Dennis Kirk and American Iron Magazine. A great one day motorcycle ride and gathering to support our troops.

Ride-In classic and custom motorcycle show sponsored by American Iron Magazine with one or more motorcycle picked to be photographed and featured in the magazine.

Indian Motorcycle Sponsors American Iron Magazine’s River Ride

Indian Motorcycle War Bonnet logo

Picturesque group ride on July 8 precedes the Patriot Ride on July 9 to benefit Minnesota’s military members, veterans and their families

Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, is proud to sponsor the American Iron River Ride, a motorcycle group ride from Lacrosse, Wis., to St. Paul, Minn., that precedes the Patriot Ride to benefit Minnesota’s military members, veterans and their families.

The American Iron Magazine River Ride, a free event organized by American Iron Magazine and open to all brands of motorcycle, takes place July 8. Riders are asked to gather at the historic Riverside Park in Lacrosse, Wis., at 10 a.m. for the ride that commences at 12 p.m. The route will take participants on a picturesque trip following the Mississippi River northward along Highway 61 to Indian Motorcycle of the Twin Cities, where a free reception and party will be held that afternoon and evening.

The following day, July 9, riders are invited to join a group ride that departs from Indian Motorcycle of the Twin Cities at 9 a.m. and leads to the Patriot Ride’s staging area at the Anoka County Airport in Blaine, Minn. There, the group will have VIP reserved parking and be positioned in a special place on the Patriot Ride. All riders on July 9 must be pre-registered for the Patriot Ride. Riders can register at the PatriotRide.org.

American Iron Magazine

At least one of the motorcycles taking part in a coinciding custom and classic motorcycle show judged by Donnie Smith will be photographed and featured in the pages of American Iron Magazine.

All proceeds from the Patriot Ride benefit the Minnesota Patriot Guard, Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund, Folds Of Honor – Minnesota, and Tribute To the Troops – Minnesota Chapter.

“I want to thank Indian Motorcycle for helping to create this opportunity for motorcyclists to ride alongside the editors of American Iron while benefitting Minnesota’s military service members, veterans and families,” says Buzz Kanter, Publisher of American Iron Magazine. “This is yet another great effort by the motorcycle community to showcase its love and support for our Armed Forces.”

“Indian Motorcycle’s support of our Armed Forces dates back to the earliest days of the brand,” says Reid Wilson, Director of Marketing for Indian Motorcycle. “The American Iron Magazine River Ride teaming with Minnesota’s Patriot Ride is just one way we can continue to assist our past and present military members and their loved ones.”

Learn more about Indian Motorcycle by visiting IndianMotorcycle.com and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels.

American Iron Magazine River Run by Indian Motorcycles & Patriot Ride

Join the staff of American Iron Magazine for a free and fun run up the Mississippi River in July.
Indian sponsored, but all makes and models and years of motorcycles are welcome

Indian sponsored, but all makes and models and years of motorcycles are welcome

American Iron Magazine River Run sponsored by Indian Motorcycles. 
Friday, July 8, 2016
* Free event open to riders of all makes, years and models of motorcycles.
* We gather at Riverside Park in La Crosse, WI the morning of Friday, July 8.
* Gas tanks full and bladders empty, sidestands up at 12 noon. Ride with the editors of American Iron Magazine along the banks of the Mississippi River to the Twin Cities Indian dealer in St Paul, MN for a free reception and party that afternoon and evening.
Join us at The Patriot Ride

Join us at The Patriot Ride

Ride to the Patriot Ride with American Iron Magazine and Indian Motorcycles. 
Saturday, July 9, 2016
* Free all brands motorcycle meet-up at Twin Cities Indian in St Paul, MN.
* Gas tanks full and bladders empty, sidestands up at 9 am. Ride with the editors of American Iron Magazine to the Patriot Ride at the airport in Blaine, MN. Our group will have VIP reserved parking and a special place on the Patriot Ride. All riders must be registered for the Patriot Ride.
* Custom and classic motorcycle show supported and judged by Donnie Smith and American Iron Magazine. At least one of the bikes in the show will be photographed and featured in the pages of American Iron Magazine and/or American Iron Garage.

July American Iron Magazine Motorcycle Rides In WI and MN

American Iron Magazine has two free rides planned for the greater Minneapolis area in July and we invite you and your friends to meet and ride with Editor-in-Chief Buzz Kanter and our team from the magazine.

On Friday, July 8th, we will meet in La Crosse, WI, and leave at noon to ride up the banks of the Mississippi River to St. Paul, MN on the American Iron Magazine Mississippi River Run sponsored by Indian Motorcycles.

This event is free (thanks to Indian Motorcycle sponsorship)  and open to all riders of all makes, models and years.  We meet at Riverside Park in La Crosse and ride to Indian Motorcycle of Twin Cities in St Paul, MN for a reception and free party.

On Saturday morning, July 9th, we will meet at Indian Motorcycles of Twin Cities in St. Paul. At 9 a.m. we will ride to nearby Blaine, MN for the start of the Patriot Ride activities.

You are welcome to join us for one or both rides. They are free (there is a charitable donation for the Patriot Ride) and they are all open to all riders of all makes and models.  Participants in our Saturday morning ride will get special VIP parking at the Patriot Ride.

Early Notice – Motorcycle Charity Ride & Show June 20 2015

Yes, we know it is a long way off, but it appears American Iron Magazine (along with our other magazines – Motorcycle Bagger and Motorcycle Rides & Culture) will be actively involved in a wonderful motorcycle ride and bike show June 20, 2015 in the greater Minneapolis, MN area.

Details for The Patriot Ride are still being worked on, but we are honored to join Dennis Kirk and others to be part of this wonderful event next year.

Among the many other classes for motorcycles, there will be a special one for military themed motorcycles.

Special class for military motorcycles.

In addition to the organized charity ride, we will be helping on the bike show and plan to photograph one or more of the motorcycles for features in our magazines.

So, if you live near (or can get to) the greater Minneapolis, MN area in June and want to join the fun mark it in your calendar now.