When Gov. Mike Pence decided he wanted to continue a Mitch Daniels’ tradition of leading a motorcycle ride through Indiana, he knew he needed a little help.
“I actually grew up riding motorcycles when I was a kid,” Pence told a crowd gathered Friday outside the Statehouse for the trip. “But I haven’t been on a bike since about my college days.”
So Pence turned to ABATE, a motorcycle safety group that works to organize the ride, to help him brush up on his skills.
“I can just tell you the training course that ABATE here in Indiana provides is exceptional,” Pence said, looking around the group of bikers, many with leather vests and tattoos. “I hope that’s in evidence today – with the governor.”
“So do we,” one woman called as laughter rolled through the crowd.
Minutes later, more than a hundred motors rumbled to life and the bikes began rolling.
A state trooper was out first, followed by Pence, who was riding a silver and black bike loaned to him by Indianapolis Southside Harley Davidson. Other bikes fell in behind as the group headed on a 100-mile journey that was to take riders to Rushville, Connersville and Liberty before ending at Whitewater Memorial State Park.
The stop in Connersville was to include an announcement about jobs moving into a former Visteon plant.
The ride – which was started by Gov. Mitch Daniels, who owns and regularly rides a Harley Davidson – was free but donations were accepted for the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund, which provides assistance to soldiers’ families.
Lesley Weidenbener is executive editor of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.