Fourth annual Tour de Path rides by means of Flight 93 memorial | Information

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. – Rick Marafino took a minute to gather himself within the overflow parking zone on the Flight 93 Memorial Nationwide Memorial website on Saturday.

He’d simply biked round 13 miles from Berlin, however the trek was simple, he mentioned, noting that he’d rode from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, this week.

The Hidden Valley resident was one among greater than 120 contributors within the September eleventh Nationwide Memorial Path Alliance’s fourth annual Tour de Path occasion that stretched from Berlin Brothersvalley Excessive Faculty to the nationwide park.

“We needed to assist the brand new path they’re establishing,” Marafino mentioned as to why he signed up.

The in-progress route connects all three assault websites from Sept. 11, 2001, and is a 1,300-mile multi-use path that makes use of present and new infrastructure to finish a loop.

Proceeds from Saturday’s occasion return to sustaining the trail from Washington, D.C., to Pennsylvania and New York.

Saturday’s occasion was extra than simply the fourth experience from Berlin, it was additionally the twentieth anniversary of President George W. Bush signing the Flight 93 Memorial Act that created the nationwide park and Nationwide Public Lands Day, a nationwide volunteer effort that “celebrates the connection between folks and inexperienced house of their group, conjures up environmental stewardship and encourages use of open house for schooling, recreation, and well being advantages.”

Marafino mentioned the climate – blue skies, a light-weight breeze and temperatures within the low 50s – made the experience excellent, and the surroundings alongside the way in which was improbable.

Tom Omiatek, who was additionally taking a break within the lot, agreed.

He mentioned it was a bit chilly, however good.

Fred Zelt, who’d ridden the total size of the path in June with a bunch of bikers, led Saturday’s pack with an American flag connected to his bicycle.

“What a fantastic day for biking,” he mentioned.

Zelt mentioned he took half within the experience “to honor the folks of 9/11, notably the folks on Flight 93.”

He added that for people who rode all the route in June, the Shanksville website was a favourite due to the rangers there.

“They had been extremely educated,” Zelt mentioned.

After arriving on the memorial website, the riders had been invited to sit down on benches close to the Wall of Names and take heed to ranger Robert Franz inform the tales of the courageous passengers and crew of United Airways Flight 93 that fought again towards the terrorists 21 years in the past.

He offered particulars in regards to the aircraft’s measurement, heading, flight path and pilots, whereas weaving in different memorable moments from that fateful day.

Jeffrey McCauley, September eleventh Nationwide Memorial Path Alliance performing president, mentioned this chance gives the riders a greater understanding of what came about in Shanksville and the which means of the memorial the place the aircraft crashed.

“All the things appears to be working properly,” 9/11 Path board of administrators member Eric Brenner mentioned in regards to the occasion.

He was accountable for welcoming riders and monitoring the lot whereas the contributors listened to the ranger discuss.

Brenner mentioned every thing felt proper about this yr’s occasion as a result of all of the signage was up and the riders had been coming into the positioning the place the Nationwide Park Service needed them to, alongside Skyline Highway.

“The rangers right here have been nice,” Brenner mentioned.

After the discuss, the contributors might discover the positioning earlier than driving again to Berlin Brothersvalley Excessive Faculty with the choice to cease on the Shanksville Volunteer Hearth Firm, the place a relaxation space was arrange.

For extra details about the 9/11 Path, go to

Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He will be reached at 814-532-5054. Comply with him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.

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