Photos: CT motorcyclists ride to honor 9/11's 20th anniversary

Photo of Liz Hardaway

WESTPORT — Motorcyclists throughout the state gathered Saturday to honor those who died from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 20 years ago.

The CT United Ride is an annual motorcycle event that travels 60 miles through cities and towns in Fairfield County, ending up in Seaside Park in Bridgeport.

About 1,500 riders had preregistered for the event and Executive Director Fred Garrity expected between 2,000 to 3,000 riders total.

The event can draw more than 20,000 spectators and involves about 50 police and fire departments, according to the event’s website.

“It’s so emotional when you ride,” a CT United Ride staff member said in a video posted to the group’s Facebook page. “You get goosebumps.”

Riders passed through Westport, Wilton, Redding, Bethel, Newtown, Monroe, Trumbull, Fairfield and Bridgeport.

This year’s ride is dedicated to Connecticut State Trooper First Class Eugene Kenneth Baron Jr., who died May 25, 2020; New Haven Firefighter Ricardo Torres, who died May 12, 2021; and New Haven Fire Lieutenant Samod Rankins, who was injured May 12, 2021, according to the event’s Facebook page.

The ride costs $30 per driver and $30 per passenger, according to the event’s Facebook page.

All funds raise go to family emergency relief funds for Connecticut police officers, and firefighters, as well as two local United Way organizations. The event is sponsored by the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut, according to the CT United Ride website.

The town with the most spectators will also win a $2,500 award in which the first selectman or mayor will choose a charity to receive the funds, the event’s Facebook page states.

liz.hardaway@hearst.com