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Ride roars into 8th year

AC/DC said it best. "For those about to rock... we salute you."

The Ronald McDonald House Ride is a salute to success, drawing over 1,000 motorcycles the last two years. And on June 12-13, the party continues in New York Mills.

Now in its eighth year, the ride is set to be another successful fundraiser to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Fargo. Weekend activities begin Friday night, June 12 with live music at the V.F.W. Post 3289 in New York Mills. Arch Allies, a tribute band to Styx, Journey, and REO Speedwagon starts at 8 p.m.

The ride takes off from the club Saturday, June 13 at 12 noon sharp - rain or shine. And as is customary with the event, hundreds of bikes will ride through downtown New York Mills. With the streets again this year expected to be lined with spectators, the motorcycles will head north out of town to Wolf Lake.

The route then takes the bikes to Wadena before returning to Mills for the post-ride hog roast, auctions, burnout contest, drawing for the new Harley-Davidson, and live outdoor concert featuring the AC/DC tribute band TNT. Local band Cut Loose will also play Saturday night.

The RMH Ride has grown considerably and quickly since the 150 motorcycles in 2002. That first year the event raised $3,300. In 2005, the number of motorcycles participating reached 750, with about $64,000 raised. Two years later, in 2007, the ride topped 1,000 motorcycles and raised $87,300. Last year, ride organizers again estimated over 1,000 bikes and the total money raised went over the $100,000 mark for the first time.

The 8th annual RMH ride in little old New York Mills became one of the world's largest motorcycle benefit rides for the Ronald McDonald House organization.

"Pretty impressive, considering the ride is only going on its 8th year, and came from an idea by local motorcycle enthusiasts, who got together and wanted to do some good for people," this according to the event's website.

The event has grown in popularity each year with the motorcade through town just one of the highlights for many local residents lining the streets to witness the rumbling motor parade. So far, the event has gone off without major incidents and has the support of local law enforcement.

"The ride is pretty well organized and it's a good fundraiser," said Jason Hoaby, NYM Police Chief. "It's not a strain on our police department and most people behave appropriately."

While the NYM PD takes care of traffic control in town on Centennial Drive and Broadway/67, the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department and Minnesota State Patrol shut down Highway 10 for about 20 minutes to allow the bikes to cross from the V.F.W. into town.

"It's usually a pretty good turnout when they come through town," Hoaby said. "I get nothing but good comments and people seem to enjoy it."

Along with the motorcycle ride, bike rodeo, and concerts, there will also be a pancake breakfast served at the school Saturday, June 13 starting at 8 a.m. Proceeds go to the NYM High School football team.