Posted 8/30/16 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
The Fallen Rider motorcycle event saw another successful fundraising for the fourth time in Tioga.
The annual motorcycle ride has a casual atmosphere, and the beneficiaries are sometimes chosen during the event by an informal consensus of the participants.
Fallen Rider organizer Reno Huffer said they just pick “someone in the area who needs a little help.”
Huffer’s wife, Dawn, said it’s usually someone in the “motorcycle community.”
The main goal is to take a ride around the countryside together and do some good while they’re at it.
This year the money went to the family of Nicholas Johnson.
Johnson, a 23-year-old man from Rhame, was found murdered in his Bowman motel room earlier this month.
The participants ride a highway circuit starting and ending in Tioga. Each rider pays $20 to enter.
At the start and along each stop the riders throw several dice. The participant with the most points wins at the end, when they all come back to the starting point for a party.
The route this year went from Tioga’s Rig Lounge II, through McGregor, and on to Noonan. From there they went to Columbus, Powers Lake, Stanley, and back to The Rig.
Among the participants was Travis Carter from Williston. He was riding a 2013 Harley Sportster.
“This is the whole reason I bought my Harley,” Carter said.
This year they raised $1,000. The winners of the run were Dan Hendricks, who won $200, and Jess Zerr, who won $90.
Both winners, Reno Huffer said, donated their money back to the cause, which is what winners have done in past year’s events.
The event began in 2013 to help the family of Sheldon Wold buy a tombstone. Wold passed away the previous June.
“Sheldon had a lot of friends in the area and he was well liked,” Dawn Huffer said.
Reno Huffer said the event was so successful they just decided to keep doing it every year.
One year they donated the money to help Scott Strader, who was in a motorcycle accident on N.D. 1804.
Dawn Huffer said one year they donated to a woman struggling with breast cancer.
The first year, they had about 50 riders, which was during the oil boom. Now they see about 20 every year.
One year they held it on the Fourth of July, which resulted in a low turnout, so they’ve decided to move it later in the year.
“We’ve had a couple years of low turnout, but we spread the word and get it out there,” Dawn Huffer said.
This year they had about 25 riders participate.
They have a lot more safety too, as some riders in past events got into an accident. Reno Huffer said this year went off without a hitch. Everyone had fun and no one got hurt.
Balderdash performed at the after-ride party, which was organized by Amber Haakenson.