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13th Annual Miracle Ride set for Saturday

Riders seek shelter from the rain under tents and awnings while waiting to leave for the Harley Owner's Group Miracle Ride, Saturday, June 28, 2008. Carrie Snyder / Forum Communications Co.

Area motorcycle enthusiasts may want to polish up their hogs for a special event this weekend.

On Saturday, rain or shine, the 13th Annual Miracle Ride takes place at Fargo Harley-Davidson, 600 Main Avenue West in West Fargo. All proceeds benefit the Sanford Children's Hospital through the Children's Miracle Network.

"I truly believe they do perform some miracles up there," said David Paulson, owner of Dave's West Fargo Tire and Service Center and the coordinator of the event. "We definitely want to give back to the community, and I think that has to be through our children."

Registration begins at 9 a.m. and costs $25 per person. Bikes will rev up their engines at 11:30 a.m. and head out. All makes and models of motorcycles are welcome, Paulson said.

The first stop is in Ada, Minn., where the Fargo Harley-Davidson pack will join forces with a group from Andy's Harley-Davidson of Grand Forks. Together, the friendly gang of bikers will travel to Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn., for a picnic lunch and an afternoon of fun.

In the past 12 years, the Miracle Ride has raised more than $240,000 for charity, Paulson said, and averages about 300 riders per year.

"The first year was pretty quiet, but the numbers have climbed and now we've kind of peaked out," he said.

Paulson said the ride is very family oriented, and he encouraged area riders and spectators to come out and enjoy the event.

"And there are no bar stops along the way," he noted. "In fact, I'm happy to say that in the 12 years we've run this, we've had no accidents or injuries."

From the Fargo Harley-Davidson location, the riders will travel down First Avenue and travel behind Speedway Event Center and Stockman's Supply. From there, they'll go up County Road 15 to 12th Avenue North before turning right on County Road 17 toward Harwood and, eventually, onto Highway 9 in Minnesota.

"People might want to sit and watch. It's going to be neat for spectators," Paulson said.

The Miracle Ride is for motorcycle enthusiasts who want to give back, Paulson said. Besides the entry fee, participants are encouraged to pick up a pledge packet at Fargo Harley-Davidson for an opportunity to raise additional funds.

The person who raises the most money will win a leather jacket worth up to $500. And anyone who raises $200 or more will receive a free T-shirt of their choice from either Fargo Harley-Davidson or Andy's Harley-Davidson.

Paulson said that, with so many charity motorcycle rides going on this time of year, it can be tough for riders to chose which one. But the Miracle Ride is special in that it really is for anyone who loves the open road.

"There are the hardcore bikers, and then there are the motorcycle enthusiasts," he said. "That's us."