24th Annual Salute to Veterans Bike Rally

Saw on the city billboard earlier in the week that it was once again time for the colorful annual Salute to Veterans Bike Rally. The ride starts in Woodland Park and progresses up Ute Pass to the historic town of Divide where it turns onto highway 67 past Mueller State Park and on to the old west gambling town of Cripple Creek. The ride is done in remembrance of American POW’s and is always a popular spectator event in the southern Rockies.

Bikers

Salute to Veterans Rally

 

I almost missed it this year, forgot all about it until I saw the billboard as we were driving past. When I saw it I kind of halfheartedly commented, “I should probably shoot that.”, thinking it has been such a crappy summer that I probably wouldn’t. But my friend Erika enthusiastically replied, “I want to go!”, so we made plans to fight the downtown traffic and watch the mass start at 10 a.m on Saturday. Friend Michelle also wanted to see it, so I was encouraged to find the camera and once again get the colorful and inspiring shots of all the flag waving Harley’s making their way through my town 🙂

Ever looking for ways to optimize my time I identified a time window for a trip to the gym on the way to the rally, but it almost cost me the whole day! Cops had half the town closed down between the gym and Highway 24 and I wasn’t sure I was going to get through. Finally I found an open street and made it through to pick up my friends. We decided on a parking lot on the west end of town that didn’t look too full and made our way down to the main drag.

Biker-Chicks

My favorite hot biker chicks

As I scoped out a spot to get the best shots I heard my name being called from across the street… Holy crap, a bunch of people from my church were down there street preaching. Great I thought! I’m at the bike rally with two hot biker chicks while my church buddies are preaching! Lol… Well it is what it is, Photographers work on Saturdays… It’s not my fault that my job sometimes involves hanging out with hot biker chicks 🙂

Flag-Wavers.jpg

Flag procession out of town

The veterans did not disappoint. It wasn’t long before hundreds of Harley’s were roaring down the highway towards their Cripple Creek destination. Flag waving bikers and spectators instilled a feeling of unity, pride and solidarity with our fighting men on a beautiful sunny day high in the Rocky Mountains! I’m glad we went, it was an awesome break from all the strife affecting our great country this year, and a cause for hope for our future.

 

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography.

Bikers Ride for Veterans in Woodland Park, Colorado

Saturday was a big day for S. W. Krull Imaging… I got my first “newsworthy” article published on the Examiner. Saturday was the day for the big annual biker rally for veterans called the Salute to Veterans Rally. I’ve written quite a few articles for the Examiner but up until Saturday had yet to trip the “newsworthy” counter.

So I woke up early on Saturday to check out my camera equipment. It has been a while since I have used it so I thought I’d better look it over. Sure enough, the battery was nearly dead so I found the charger and hooked it up. Cleaned the lens and checked the settings. It was going to be a bright sunny day and the bikes would be moving fast so I decided to go to manual with a 1000th of a second shutter speed. Aperture would have to be determined on site.

About a half hour before the mass start from the high school I headed down to main street to get some shots of the crowd and then off to the west side of town for a better view of Pikes Peak. Right on time I heard the roar of hundreds if not thousands of motorcycles and the police escort and color guard appeared, followed by huge procession of bikes heading for Cripple Creek and the main celebration.

The event was quite a sight and well worth the effort to attend. Soon the bikes dwindled to a trickle and I headed home to look at the pictures, 125 in all, and write my story. One of the first boxes to check is the newsworthy box. So I checked the requirements and after a little thought decided to go for it. The article went into the awaiting approval queue and all there was left to do was wait. It wasn’t long and I got the news… approved 🙂