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In this day and age, inviting riders to participate in a rally that memorializes and honors those who've served our country - especially those who've perished while doing so - may not be politically correct but I'm too simple to care. I hope you won't mind.

The "2013 Tour of Honor Rally" will begin on April 1st and will run until October. The rally honors those who have served in the armed forces as well as those who've served as fire personnel and police officers.

Riders from across the U.S. and Canada will participate.

Each year, the rally founders, Steve and Dave Brooks, work with state sponsors like me to identify seven memorials in each participating state to which rally participants can ride. Riders collect "points" for visiting the memorial sites and they can capture sites in any state(s) they wish. Steve and Dave strive to only include memorials that are of sufficient interest to attract riders and make it worth their while to participate.

As a state sponsor, I submitted ten sites that I felt would be worth visiting and then Steve and Dave paired that down to the seven allowed per state. I can assure you that, assuming that all of the states are represented like mine (Utah), every memorial will be worth a trip (as if anyone needed an excuse to ride a Spyder, right?).

Besides giving participants a chance to honor those who've served, the rally also financially supports the Wounded Warrior Project which helps those who've been severely injured in the line of duty as well as their families. It's an honorable cause.

Rules are simple:
1. You register for the rally.
2. The list of memorials will be published online at the Tour's web site (

www.tourofhonor.comhttp://www.tourofhonor.com) about April 1st (but you'll want to register earlier than that).
3. You identify which memorials you'd like to ride to visit and set up your schedule for doing so. You'll have six months to cover as many as you choose to.
4. You ride to the memorials, park your ride in front of the memorial (or gate into it or whatever is reasonable), place your rally placard (supplied when you register) on your machine in a manner that shows the placard clearly, your trike, and the memorial behind them, and photograph the combination with your cell phone.
5. You immediately email that photo to the rally founders and they then credit you with the find.

Each memorial includes a write-up that tells you the GPS coordinates, the location/address, and interesting information about the memorial and surrounding area along with good rides that are nearby and restaurants that you might enjoy.

Everyone who's participated in previous years have enjoyed the rally and I can tell you from personal experience that spending even a little amount of time at the memorials thinking about the sacrifices that have been made in our behalf can be both sobering and touching. Makes you really appreciate what you have that others have fought and, in many cases, died for.

BTW, the Tour of Honor is sanctioned by two well-known and highly respected national motorcycling organizations: The American Motorcycle Association and the Iron Butt Association.

If this seems at all interesting to you, I'd invite you to check out the rally site at

www.tourofhonor.comhttp://www.tourofhonor.com and then register and participate. While individual riders register, if you like to ride with a group, you can all register individually and then ride to the sites in formation. Just insure that each of you take and submit your own photos.

As a state sponsor, I earn nothing from my participation. I found the rally online by accident and participated one year, thoroughly enjoying it. Then I learned that the sponsor for Utah wasn't available so Utah wasn't included for the next year. So, because I felt that no service person should be ignored, I volunteered as the sponsor for my state for 2013 and beyond. So, if you decide to participate (and I hope you will), I gain nothing. But YOU will gain something if you use the rally to really visit and contemplate each memorial rather than just rush in and out for the points.

I'll be happy to respond to questions about the rally but you'll probably find answers on the ToH site itself.

Thanks!

bc
 
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