Bikers hit I-75 Saturday for Ga. Police Memorial Ride

Bikers hit I-75 Saturday for Ga. Police Memorial Ride

lfabian@macon.comApril 24, 2014 

Thousands of motorcycles are expected in Atlanta on Saturday for the Georgia Police Memorial Ride.

Middle Georgia public safety officers and supporters will add another leg to that journey with a caravan from Macon and Forsyth.

Dozens of motorcycles will be thundering up Interstate 75 with a law enforcement escort, said Bibb County sheriff’s Lt. Randy Gonzalez, an officer with the local chapter of the Blue Knights law enforcement motorcycle club.

This year’s 23rd annual Ride for Fallen Officers in Georgia will honor those who died in the line of duty last year:

• Barwick Police Chief Anthony W. Barfield Sr. sustained a fatal heart attack during a domestic dispute April 9.

• Columbus police Cpl. Thomas Keith Slay died in a truck accident July 30 while he was working undercover with the Metro Narcotics Task Force.

• DeKalb County police officer Ivorie Klusmann was killed when he hit a tree while responding to another officer’s call for assistance Aug. 10.

The public is invited to join Middle Georgia riders who will meet about 7 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Shoki Japanese restaurant at 3850 Riverside Drive. The group will leave Macon at 7:30 a.m. and ride up I-75 to the weigh station in Forsyth to rendezvous with another group of riders from around Monroe County.

The motorcade of motorcycles will get back on the road at 8:30 a.m. to travel to the parking lot of the old Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, where registration opens at 8 a.m. for the 11 a.m. ride.

The parade of motorcycles will maneuver through honor guard teams in the city on the way to the Atlanta Expo Center at Jonesboro Road and Interstate 285.

Entry fees for the rain or shine event are $35 for riders and $15 for passengers. Participants will receive a T-shirt, ride pin and lunch at the Expo Center.

A Fallen Heroes program concludes the event.

Gonzalez attended his first ride last year, which included a spin around the State Capitol and honor guard presentation.

“We have patrol cars from all over that lead the escort,” he said. “It’s an awesome experience just to be up there will all those bikes.”

For more information, visit www.blueknightsga7.org.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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