Bikers to converge on Gettysburg
Shaun Wood is a small town motorcycle enthusiast who works for a chain restaurant distribution company. In his spare time he and wife Bonnie hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride, taking in the scenery over country and back roads. Sometimes they venture as far as Maryland.
This year they planned to attend Gettysburg’s Bike Week, where bikers from all over the country converge on the historic Civil War battlefield town.
Last month he saw a social media post saying the official Gettysburg Bike Week, scheduled July 9-12, had been canceled.
It would have been the Wood’s first trip to the large event that draws thousands of bikers from all over the country. He was crushed.
“Immediately I was talking to another person on the same chat and saw the disappointment of others on the site,” he said.
So he didnt think twice about creating a social media page to keep people from canceling their plans.
Planning a Battlefield Bike Rally
“I wanted to create a drive to help the small businesses (in Gettysburg) in need,” he said. “I was tired of seeing our economy suffer in Pennsylvania due to our tyrant governor.”
He started a Facebook page he called Battlefield Bike Rally and it took off, quickly garnering over 2,000 followers.
Soon he found others had the same idea. Jess Stonesifer started an Unofficial Gettysburg Bike Week page on Facebook. When Wood saw it, he reached out and the two teamed up to try to make it happen.
More administrators of similar social media pages joined Wood and Stonesifer.
The movement grew, adding Gettysburg locals, small business owners and people that wanted to make a difference.
Wood contacted the owner of Jam On Productions, who runs motorcycle swaps meets around the country. Jam On agreed to set up a swap meet for the occasion.
“Everyone has been working tirelessly to make this happen,” Wood said. “We decided it was time to make a stand and stop doing and start acting.”
Bikers response ‘amazing’
Wood said the results have been amazing.
More than 1,000 people have signed up on Stonesifer’s unofficial bike week page saying they are going. Another 3,000-plus indicated they were interested, and the page has had 1,000 shares.
Wood’s Facebook page, Battlefield Bike Rally, has generated similar results.
Harley Davidson dealers in Baltimore and Frederick, Md. and Harrisburg have organized battlefield rides from their parking lots to Gettysburg. Bikers from as as far west as Missouri and north as New York have Indicated they are coming.
Bikers are now expected to converge on Gettysburg the north, south, east and west.
Vendors and bands have made commitments to set up throughout town.
Battlefield rally of the chrome
“We have a Battlefield Rally of Chrome Ride planned for noon July 11,” Wood said. “This ride is dedicated to the small businesses, the black and blue that give us protection and the Veterans that gave us our freedom.”
Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano, Matt Bellis from Reopen PA and Christine Waltz from For the Love of Veterans Foundation will be on hand as guest speakers.
Riders meet in the parking lot at the Hilton Garden Inn,1061 York Road, for the 22-mile ride through Gettysburg, led by Chambersburg’s Chuck Timbrooks and his truck Blackout.