One of the more unusual biker events in the tri-state New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area took place on September 29 when Unique Photo partnered with Sony to present New Jersey’s Big Biker Photography Event. Unique Photo, located just 20 miles east of where I live, invited every biker in the area to show up at the store’s Fairfield, New Jersey, location. The event was the brainchild of fellow rider and Unique University instructor Rick Gerrity, who also organized the entire extravaganza. Riders were offered professional photography sessions for their bikes—with or without one of the models on hand—in a special outdoor studio, and SD cards containing the photos were given to the riders free of charge. Hot Rods BBQ from Wharton, New Jersey, set up and offered pulled pork, wings and brisket. Unique gave out coupons for free Hot Rods side dishes, as well. Local rock station WDHA even showed up to broadcast live from the event. Despite the rain, about 300 people (plus countless photographers) showed up—more than 100 of them on their bikes. A raffle was held for several Sony cameras, and third-place winner Gino Genova won a Sony MHS-FH2, Fuzz Griffiths took second place for a Sony DCS-WX5, first-place winner was Jane Kicks who won a Sony DSC-WX4 and the grand-prize winner was Doug Searles who took home a Sony NEX-5N with 18-55 lens. Plans are already underway for a bigger and even better event next year, so keep watching for the date and additional info at uniquephoto.com or facebook.com/uniquephoto… Seacoast Harley-Davidson in North Hampton, New Hampshire, hosted its 3rd annual Fire Fighter Appreciation Day and Bike Show in conjunction with the 3rd annual Sarah’s Ride on September 1. About 275 riders showed up for the ride, which was created in 2010 to support Sarah Fox, a Portsmouth firefighter who was battling breast cancer and sadly passed away from the disease in December 2011. The proceeds from the first two rides helped Sarah and her family, while the $7,000 raised from this third ride will go to the Sarah Fox Memorial Fund. The post-ride celebration featured a bike show (with proceeds also going to the Sarah Fox Memorial Fund), live music, raffles and other entertainment… The 21st annual Baltimore/Washington D.C. Ride for Kids took place September 23, with about 500 participating. Riders also act as fundraisers, soliciting pledges for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation prior to the ride. About 500 participants raised an astounding $141,893, with Bob Henig leading the way with $17,507 brought in… Is it toy run time already? Sunday, September 9, the 31st annual United Bikers of Maine Toy Run brought out several thousand bikers to the Augusta Community Center for a ride to the Windsor Fairgrounds to donate toys to children from impoverished families. The run usually attracts around 17,000 people, but morning rain combined with unusually cool temperatures kept the number of participants down. Still, due to the riders’ donations, there will be several thousand very happy kids come Christmas morning… From Carol “Popcorn” Unbenhauer out of the ABATE of Pennsylvania state office in Harrisburg (paraphrased): “On September 22, ABATE of Pennsylvania held its annual motorcycle Ride to Gettysburg, a fundraising campaign to preserve Pennsylvania monuments and the famous Daniel Lady Farm. Approximately 250 motorcyclists from around the state braved the threat of heavy storms to ride from Harrisburg to Battlefield Harley-Davidson in Gettysburg. ABATE of PA raised approximately $11,000, which included a generous contribution from Dave and Jennifer LeVan of Battlefield H-D. To date, the annual Ride to Gettysburg has raised over $125,000.” In 1997, Pennsylvania State Representative Harry Readshaw established the Pennsylvania Monuments Endowments Fund, and the ride began in 2001. The riders who join Rep. Readshaw on the annual ride are known as Readshaw’s Raiders. The Monuments Project was started to fund restoration of the more than 140 monuments and markers on the battlefield, as well as the Daniel Lady Farm which was used as the Confederate Army’s field hospital…Because I’m on the road a lot, I appreciate any extra hospitality where I stay, and I especially appreciate good food because, as we all know, rallies do not generally offer the best meal choices. Thank you to the Pipitones, who own several motels and an apartment house in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. Every year while at Roar to the Shore I stay at the Gondolier Oceanfront Motel, only about a half-mile from the Wildwoods Convention Center. Along with making constant improvements to their properties, Adam Jr. and Sr. Pipitone throw complimentary guest appreciation pool parties throughout the summer. During this year’s Roar to the Shore, my hosts put out a nice spread of pasta, pizza and liquid refreshments. The night’s live entertainment featured Kenny Jeremiah, founding member of the ’60s sensations, the Soul Survivors. Yep, they played Expressway to Your Heart to the delight of the baby boomer biker crowd. Hard to believe the hit single celebrated its 45th anniversary this year… And speaking of hospitality, check out Jeanne’s Bourbon Street BBQ if you see their mobile rig at a rally. Recently Jeanne and Ken Rose, out of eastern Ohio, decided to retire from their jobs and start their own business. They loved to barbecue for family and friends, tinkering with their own rubs and sauces, and figured it was something they could do together. Ken, an engineer by trade, designed their 50-foot barbecue restaurant on wheels and they started hitting bike rallies just this year. You may have seen them across from the Rossmeyer Museum on Beach Street in Daytona Beach or at Panama City Beach Motorcycle Fall Rally, and if you were lucky enough, maybe you enjoyed their luscious pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs or pork nachos. I discovered them at one of the rallies in the Northeast and their rotisserie chicken was to die for. To find out where they’ll be next riding season, check out their website at jeannesbourbonstreetbbq.com.