‘Baldy’ memorial ride set Saturday
Nearly 800 members of District 14 ABATE of Iowa will be holding the 29th “Baldy” Memorial Ride in memory of Wade S. Lentner Sr. and 77 other departed District 14 members Saturday.
The group is remembering six members lost in the past year: Jim Gray from Keokuk, Tom Baker from Ottumwa, Kyle Stansberry of Eldon, Steve Whaley from Albia, Dennis Hibler and Ed Zimmerman from Oskaloosa.
District 14 is part of a statewide motorcycle rights organization of more than 8,000 politically active motorcyclists involved in education and safety. District 14 is made up of all or parts of eight southeast Iowa counties: Davis, Henry, Jefferson, Keokuk, Mahaska, Van Buren, Wapello and Washington.
There is no cost for the 20-mile Memorial Ride from Fremont to What Cheer.
Motorcycles will start arriving before noon Saturday on Main Street in Fremont. People will sign in at Billy Ray’s Smokehouse for District 14’s 28th anniversary. Baldy Memorial Ride pins and T-shirts will be available, as well as RIP patches for lost brothers and sisters.
At 1 p.m., a memorial service at the “ROCK” in the square just off of Main Street will remember the friends and members lost since last year’s ride and the 77 others departed members from past years.
This year is the 28th anniversary of the passing of Wade “Baldy” Lentner Sr., who died June 22, 1985, three days after District 14 was formed. He was the local Harley Davidson dealer in Ottumwa for 46 years. The first memorial ride was held July 14, 1985. District 14 had 11 charter members and signed up 34 new members that day.
The ceremony will include a welcome, the national anthem, a prayer, remembrances of this year’s lost members and a roll call of departed members. The District 14 “Poem,” which is inscribed on the “ROCK” in Fremont Park, will be read. The poem is read at the funerals of departed members.
Also, special recognition will be given to seven 20-year members: Doug and Carla Crawford, JoAnn Denniston, all of Birmingham; Michael Wayne Ades of Batavia; Dave “Lazer” Carter of Glidden; Carl “Hippie” Duncan of Oskaloosa; and Nathan West of Ottumwa.
To start the memorial ride, there will be a “Feel the Thunder” tribute conducted as the motorcycles line up for the ride to the fairgrounds in What Cheer. This consists of a mass firing of the several hundred motorcycles with a 77 second revving of the engines. The ground will literally shake as the air is filled with the sound of “heavy metal thunder” in memory of departed members.
The ride will end at the Keokuk County Fairgrounds in What Cheer, where District 14 will celebrate its 28th anniversary party.
All ABATE of Iowa events are open to the public. Attendees do not need a motorcycle to attend, but must be 21 and have ID to attend the anniversary party. Cost for the anniversary party is $25, paid starting Friday evening at the fairgrounds in What Cheer or Saturday in Fremont before the ceremony or at the gate in What Cheer after the ride. Admission includes food and beverage, camping which starts Friday afternoon, a motorcycle rodeo, a memorial ride pin and a 22-ounce “Baldy” commemorative mug.
Vendors, including tattoo artists, leather and sewing and other biker novelties, will be present.
Live entertainment will feature Rukkus and Pat Lanips.
Women on Wings will serve a biscuits and sausage gravy breakfast Sunday morning. The Christian Motorcycle Association will hold a Sunday morning service.
For more infomation, contact The Teacher at 641-673-4982 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
District 14 was formed June 19, 1985, in Fremont.
The organization is involved in motorcycle rider education programs that teach old and new riders how to ride and also presents programs, like Share the Road, that make driver’s education students and others motorist aware of motorcyclists on the road, It also sponsors a program called Two Wheeled Trauma, which trains local EMTs and First Responders how to deal with motorcycle accidents. It also lobbies elected representatives for fair motorcycle legislation.