Honor Flight Riders
Flight Date is: Tuesday, May 7, 2013
CMHF will be departing from the Courtyard Marriott approximately 2:00 am.
returning that evening to the
Courtyard by Marriott
STAGING AT: 10:00 p.m.
Tips for Riding in the Honor Flight Escort
Arrive on time with a full tank of gas. Check the Central Missouri Honor Flight website for upcoming flight dates and times. As commercial air flight times vary, so do our arrival times at Kingdom City inbound to Columbia. Bikers should arrive at the designated times and stage on the parking lot of the Firefighters Memorial (NW corner of I-70 and Hwy. 54 interchange at Kingdom City. Ride leaders will conduct riders briefing.
There will be two ride leaders coordinating the escort with law enforcement and the bus(es) carrying the veterans. There will also be five safety riders positioned throughout the escort monitoring the escort and watching for safety issues. All designated personnel will be visible by armbands. Please adhere to their efforts to maintain everyone’s safety.
Start of Escort.
Approximately 20 minutes prior to arrival of bus(es) carrying veterans, Ride Leaders will move escort onto westbound entrance ramp to I-70. As bus(es) pass under the HWY 54 overpass, the bus(es) will slow to 50mph. The Highway Patrol will lead the escort off the ramp, reaching a road speed of 60 mph. Bus(es) will remain in right lane so that escort riders may pass in the left lane.
Ride in Formation. The staggered riding formation allows a proper space cushion between motorcycles so that each rider has enough time and space to maneuver and to react to hazards. The leader rides in the left third of the lane, while the next rider stays at least one second behind in the right third of the lane; the rest of the group follows the same pattern.
Avoid side-by-side formations, as they reduce the space cushion. If you suddenly needed to swerve to avoid a hazard, you would not have room to do so. You don’t want handlebars to get entangled.
As You Pass the Bus(es), remain observant of the road and riders ahead. While it is tempting to look into the bus windows, it is more important that you maintain your safety and spacing. If you wish to salute or raise your arm upward in honor of the veterans and feel you can do that safely, feel free to do so. Do not stand up or reduce your speed – you have bikes coming up behind you.
If you fall behind, do not accelerate rapidly to catch up. This can create what is called a “rubber band effect” where multiple bikes find themselves rapidly increasing and decreasing speeds, posing significant safety hazards. Simply maintain your speed – the gap WILL close on its own – don’t push it!
Upon Approach to Hotel, the procession will slow – be patient. Motorcycles will pass through receiving area at hotel entrance and park in lot immediately north of the Courtyard Marriott Hotel (between hotel and Zimmer Broadcasting).
Should You Have Further Questions, please contact Honor Flight Riders Leaders Reed Hickam @ (573) 489-2158 or Mike Helm @ (573) 673-1835.
Lodging Note: For those of you riding some distance to join us on our evening escort, should you desire not to ride back home late at night, the Courtyard Marriott Hotel offers reduced room rates for members of the Central Missouri Honor Flight Riders. Their number is (573) 443-8000.
DATE: May 12, 2012
TO: Central Missouri Honor Flight Riders
FROM: Steve Paulsell, Flight Director
SUBJECT: May 8, 2012 Flight
Well, what can I say? Over 500 bikes at 1:30 on a Wednesday morning – incredible! If you keep doubling your numbers on each flight, based on my calculations, we will be starting in Illinois sometime next year.
I, honestly, cannot find the words to appropriately communicate to you what your presence and participation means to these Great Americans. When you first appear on the Kingdom City ramp and after our brief introduction is complete, the buses go silent (with the exception of the patriotic march music) and remain so for several miles. Then, we start hearing very quiet comments – “I can’t believe this.” “Can you believe all these people are doing this for us?” And we hear a lot of “sniffles” and see a lot of eye wiping. One guardian, who was accompanying his dad, told us after the flight that he and his dad cried all the way to the hotel. It remains, to the veterans, the most emotional part of their trip. I believe I can also speak for the entire honor flight staff and guardians on the buses, all of whom know this is coming, to be the most emotional part of our 24 hour journey, as well.
I would like to specifically thank the leaders and safety personnel who have committed significant time and energy in preparation for this flight to insure a safe and orderly ride. From my perspective on the lead bus, everything worked flawlessly, as planned. As I have often said, the last thing we want to happen on that highway is for someone to get hurt. Additionally, if someone did, these veterans would feel responsible.
The last line in our introduction as we come under the overpass at Kingdom City is, “Ladies and Gentleman, on your right are over 500 of the greatest patriots you will ever meet – the Central Missouri Honor Flight Riders” And, we mean it!
Thanks for what you do to support the honor flight mission and, much more importantly, thank you for the message you send to these Great Americans assuring them that they are not forgotten and that they are, still, truly appreciated for what they did for us and future generations of Americans some 65 years ago.
May God Bless You All