Legion Riders take part in 5th annual Pork Chop Ride

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt The American Legion Riders Pork Chop 130 Ride begins on Minnesota Street. The 40 riders in the procession traveled to the Dam Store in Rapidan, followed by Elysian and St. Peter before returning to New Ulm.

NEW ULM — A convoy of over 30 motorcycles traveled out of New Ulm on Saturday afternoon as part of the local American Legion Riders fifth annual Pork Chop 130 Ride.

Each year the American Legion Riders organized a motorcycle tour. The tour is an average of 130 miles.

Event coordinator Jon Gohr said a pork chop dinner is held at the New Ulm American Legion on the last Saturday of the month. Five years ago he had the idea to tie the pork chop dinner in with the motorcycle ride.

“It helps bring people into the Legion,” Gohr said.

This year’s ride saw a high turnout of riders. Over 30 bikes were parked along South Minnesota Street with 40 registered riders. In 2018, 30 registered riders attend.

Participants credited the perfect weather for attendance. The Pork Chop Ride is a rain or shine event, but it the last five years it had mostly been raining. The first three years of the event had rain. The 2018 ride was sunny but extremely warm for Memorial Day weekend. Several riders felt the heat.

This year, the riders were concerned the weather might not hold. The spring has been hit or miss this year in terms of rain.

Lee Swenson said riding a motorcycle this year was a lot like farming. The weather determines what you can do.

Fortunately, the weather held out and the riders were treated to 70-degree weather with a nice breeze.

Angie and Chris Glassel said it absolutely perfect for a ride.

This year the group started at New Ulm’s American Legion and traveled to the Rapidan Dam Store. At the Dam Store, the riders took part in a horseshoe tournament and sampled the Dam pie.

Next, the motorcycle convoy traveled to Elysian, MN before heading northwest to the American Legion Post #33 in St. Peter.

Several members of St. Peter’s American Legion Riders chapter joined the Pork Chop Ride. Chapter Secretary Kellie Wells said the St. Peter chapter was new. They just started meeting in January, but already has 32 members. The St. Peter chapter meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month.

By 5:15 p.m. the riders were back at the New Ulm American Legion for the pork chop dinner and raffle drawing. This year’s prize was a 12 gauge shotgun.

The New Ulm chapter of the American Legion Riders meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month.