If you like to ride a motorcycle and you would like to help local veterans, then you may want to take part in a motorcycle ride Saturday that will follow the Copperhead Trail through parts of Whitley and McCreary counties.
The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Kentucky Chapter 1-7, which is headquartered in Williamsburg, will hold the inaugural Moonbow Ride this Saturday. The cost is $20 per bike and $10 per additional rider.
All proceeds from the ride will go to help local veterans.
“There are a lot of veterans in this area that need help,” noted John Shupe, vice-commander of the local chapter. “We are going to try and do this every year.”
The Williamsburg chapter formed last September, and the April 27 ride will be its sanctioned ride for the year and hopefully an annual fundraiser.
While membership in the group is only open to combat veterans, Shupe noted that the ride is open to anyone who wishes to participate.
“We have all been shot at one way or the other in the military, boots on the ground combat. We are doing the ride open to everybody though,” Shupe added.
The Williamsburg chapter of the club was created from part of the territory that originally belonged to the Lexington chapter.
It stretches north to south from Richmond to Williamsburg, and east to west from Pikeville to Bowling Green.
“It is a big chunk of Kentucky. The bad thing it is the poorest chunk of Kentucky, but there are a lot of veterans in this area that need help. We are going to try to help out veterans if they need a ramp on their porch to make it wheel chair accessible or something like that,” Shupe said.
“We try to go to Hazard to the veterans old folks home and try to give them a little something for Christmas and congregate with them. We try to help people that don’t have any family to help them along. We are all about vets helping vets.”
Last year, the club participated in the Williamsburg Bicentennial Parade and in the Williamsburg Christmas Parade.
“We are just military guys that like to ride motorcycles and we are trying to have a cause. We are trying every thing we can to drum money up to do what we do. This is the poorest part of Kentucky. Getting donations and stuff can be a little bit hard,” Shupe noted.
Shupe said that the group has a block of rooms rented at the Holiday Inn Express off Cumberland Falls Highway in Corbin near Exit 25 where many of the riders will be staying.
There will be a meet and greet Friday at the hotel.
Registration will start in the parking lot of Felts’ Music Place at 4672 Fifth Street Road, Corbin, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and then the group will ride informally to the Kentucky Splash Waterpark where the ride will officially begin at 11 a.m. with a kick stands up start.
Whitley County Treasurer Jeff Gray and Emergency Management Director Danny Moses will then escort the group on the Copperhead Trail ride. The 60-mile ride winds its way through more than 300 turns.
At 2 p.m., riders will meet at The Arena in Corbin for food, drawings, a bike show, a slow drag and a silent auction.
At 8 p.m. the Pistol Whip Band will perform.
The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association has seven chapters in Kentucky and 25,000 members.
“They will be coming out of Indiana, Knoxville and Ohio, the Tri-State area. Hopefully we can get 400 or 500 to show. That is what we are hoping,” Shupe said.
For more information about the club or the ride, contact Bill “Gunny” Hutzinger at (859) 626-2981, or email him at Gunny.firstname.lastname@example.org.