Dozens of people took to the open road Saturday on two wheels as part of a POW/MIA memorial ride through western North Dakota.
It started Saturday morning as part of the National POW/Recognition Day, which is held on the third Friday in September. For the first time in its history, the Matthew Brew Post #3 American riders hit the road as part of the observance. The route took the more than two dozen riders east from Dickinson on Interstate 94, then turned south on the Enchanted Highway into Regent, then continued into Hettinger and Bowman before going north on the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway to Belfield and back to Dickinson.
According to one organizer, it was more of a memorial ride for those still listed as MIA (Missing in Action) because no one knows if they are dead or are in prison. Dean Kadrmas said that the ride finished with about 36 motorcycles and with riders, estimated that they had 48 on the ride.
“It went real good. It was nice riding weather. Nobody complained,” he said.
“Regent was the first stop where we had lunch at the Cannonball Saloon. We stopped in Hettinger at the Pastime bar,” he said. The group also stopped in Bowman and Belfield.
At each stop, the group used dice and not cards for the “Poker Run”.... “A lot of the time we use dice. It is easier to clean up than using cards at each stop.
“With the dice, if you threw a six and a one, you would get 61 points. You would add all the ‘hands’ up at the end of the ride and the winning number is the top hand and the lowest number gets low hand,” Kadrmas said.
The riders had dinner at the American Legion post in Belfield after getting a police escort into town. The ride ended in Dickinson about five hours after it started.
The ride also drew the interest of another Dickinson resident.
“It was good,” said Michelle Mundy said as she packed up her gear on her Harley Davidson on Main Street where the group stopped in front of Windy’s Bar and Grill for a brief stop.
“We’ll be heading up to Belfield, then back to Dickinson,” she said.
It was also the first time that Mundy had made the drive around the Western Ridge of North Dakota. “I like it … and it was for a good cause,” she added.
The participants over 21 also were taking part in a “Poker Run”, which would mean a small pot of money available at the end of the ride to the person with the best “hand.”
The people who registered for the ride also got a special set of dog tags for participating. The dog tags had the American flag on one side and on the back “United Legion, Matthew Brew Post #3, Dickinson, ND.”
Saturday’s ride was the first ever sponsored by the American Legion post in Dickinson, but members had participated in similar rides around the state.
“We had a good turnout. Everybody enjoyed it and it was for a good cause. We raised some good money for that,” Kadrmas said.
There may be a new route for the 2021 ride, the organizer said. “You got to change the route up. That way, the people won’t get bored.”