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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Daniels' last motorcycle ride as governor takes him across Putnam County

Saturday, August 11, 2012

With Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (riding bike above at left) helping lead the way on his Harley-Davidson Friday, several hundred motorcyclists head west on U.S. 40 before turning south onto State Road 243 at Putnamville.
PUTNAMVILLE -- Led by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a convoy of hundreds of motorcycles stretched from State Road 243 back past U.S. 231 Friday morning as the governor's eighth and final ride snaked its way through Putnam County.

Accompanied by several Indiana State Police motorcycles, Gov. Daniels rode front and center on his Harley-Davidson as the ride followed U.S. 40 west after leaving Indianapolis.

Gov. Daniels began what he called his "last roundup" at the Statehouse with a request that more motorcyclists seek out training before hitting the open road.

Among the riders were a proud flag-flying patriot and a couple who flashed the peace sign as they rolled through the Putnam County countryside.
A slight uptick in motorcycle accidents has been observed in the past year, Daniels noted, attributing that to self-trained motorcyclists. The governor said "nobody should be jumping on a bike without having somebody teach them first."

With that, he jumped on his Harley and headed west along U.S. 40, aka the National Road.

Turning south onto State Road 243 at Putnamville, the motorcycle contingent roared past the historic Putnamville United Methodist Church and later the entrance to Lieber State Recreation Area before emerging on State Road 42 at Cunot.

From there the group traveled on to Prairie City, before heading south for a lunch stop at Shakamak State Park near Jasonville.

After lunch, the ride progressed through Sandborn -- ironically the hometown of Democrat John Gregg (who would like to succeed Daniels, the term-limited Republican as Indiana governor) -- and also passed through Bruceville and Wheatland.

The afternoon featured a brief stop at the Gastof Amish Village in Montgomery before the ride headed east through Loogootee and Lacy to its final destination at French Lick.

Daniels headed out with members of the motorcycle group ABATE of Indiana on his final ride as governor in his eighth and last year in the state's highest elected office. The organization ABATE focuses on promoting motorcycle safety and also trains riders.

Gov. Daniels thanked Friday's riders for their donations to Indiana's National Guard Relief Fund. His annual rides have raised roughly $30,000 for National Guard families.

Daniels, who started his gubernatorial quest by traveling around the state in a RV, will ride off into the sunset on his Harley Jan.1 to become president of Purdue University.

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