Good riders: 62 motorcycles roar across the county on fine fall day

Friday, October 1, 2010
Lewisburg Police Officer John Christmas' wife, Dawn, held the camera over her helmet while riding on the back of his motorcycle to get this photo.

A 90-mile motorcycle ride raised more than $1,500 toward establishment of a fallen police officers memorial in Lewisburg, according to spokesmen for the ride conducted Saturday during crisp fall weather.

"We're still talking about it," Lewisburg Police Chief Chuck Forbis said Monday explaining the purpose of the motorcycle ride organized by Officer John Christmas, a recently elected county commissioner.

"John is also a member of the Blue Knights," Forbis said.

Blue Knights is a motorcycle group with a chapter in Columbia including active and retired law officers.

"Last year at the memorial service" for fallen officers in Rock Creek Park, Christmas said, "we didn't have much money to pay for the service and so me and the chief and others from the Sheriff's Department rode with the Columbia group and so I decided we ought to have a monument."

Christmas and other law enforcement officers have been working on it since May and the ride last weekend was one of the steps toward building a treasury for the monument.

There is a monument to three fallen law enforcement officers. Their names are carved in stone on the west side of the Marshall County Courthouse. The inscription says it's "Dedicated to those officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. Billy Blackwell, 2-1-75, Gene Leverette, 11-25-78 and J. Perry, 10-3-99."

Christmas anticipates coordinating another ride next fall.

Last weekend's route was mostly in Marshall County.

"What amazed me was the people who pulled over to watch it pass," Christmas said. "It was a huge success."

Meanwhile, this weekend has a good forecast for outdoor activities.

"Saturday morning will be cool with the low at about 48 degrees, or the upper 40s to about 50 at dawn," according to meteorologist Rachel Haynes at the National Weather Service office at Old Hickory.

The high tomorrow will be about 76 with humidity at about 77 percent but there's no rain in the forecast, Haynes said.

"Winds should be generally light from the north," she said.

There's more of the same for Sunday when the high is anticipated at up to 70 degrees.