• 66°

Bikers raise money to fight crime

Allison T. Williams

Mother Nature’s occasional splatter of rain drops did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the bikers who showed up to take a bite out of crime this weekend

More than 100 motorcycle buffs, some coming from as far away as Lynchburg and Elizabeth City, N.C., roared into the northern Suffolk Wal-Mart parking lot Saturday morning to participate in the Suffolk Crime Line’s fundraiser, Bikers Against Crime Motorcycle Ride.

Bikers, equipped with nearly a dozen police escorts and an ambulance, left the northern Suffolk shopping center and cut through several side roads to reach the Nansemond Parkway corridor. After shooting across U.S. 58, they began exploring the seemingly endless string of back roads between U.S. 460 and

Route 10.

Bypassing downtown Chuckatuck, the bikers continued down Route 10, rolling into Isle of Wight County and eventually back into northern Suffolk via Bridge Road.

They got hit with infrequent drops of rain and countless waves and horn toots of support from passersby.

“It was great,” said one participant, a newcomer to biking. “I’m ready to go again!”

As of noon Saturday, Lt. Debbie J. George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Crime Line, was unsure how much money had been generated.

“But it was successful,” George said. “We definitely raised some money and attracted some attention. We’ll be back next year.”

The desire to give city’s law enforcement community a helping hand is what prompted many people to sign up for the event,

“We’re here to support out guys in blue,” said Gene Wyman of Elizabeth City, who belongs to the North Carolina Blue Knights, a group of retired state law enforcement officers.

“It was a lot of fun, especially since the weather held out. It was a nice ride and we got to see a lot of new areas around Suffolk.”

Gary Partain, who worked law enforcement for the U.S. Coast Guard, agreed.

“Even with the rain, it was a great ride … and it’s nice to be able to support Crime Line.”

Bill Stefula, of Poquoson, one of 15 members of the Windows’ Sons, an organization with ties to the Freemasons, agreed.

“We came because we wanted to show support for the Suffolk Crime Line and the Suffolk Police Department.”