Bikers’ cross-country trip will honor victims of Flight 93, 9/11 

click to enlarge Riding to Flight 93 memorial: Family and friends of Flight 93 victims will ride from San Francisco to Pennsylvania. (Courtesy photo)
  • Riding to Flight 93 memorial: Family and friends of Flight 93 victims will ride from San Francisco to Pennsylvania. (Courtesy photo)

Ken Nacke and his brother Joey always talked about traveling across America after they retired.

"We always wanted to see Mount Rushmore, Yosemite, Yellowstone," Ken said. "That kind of stuff is what we planned to do."

But Louis "Joey" Nacke didn’t get to take those trips. On Sept. 11, 2001, he was a passenger on United Flight 93, the hijacked plane en route to San Francisco from Newark, N.J., that crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside. He was 42.

Today, Ken and nine other motorcyclists will depart from a Harley-Davidson store near San Francisco International Airport on a cross-country motorcycle trip in his brother’s honor. The journey is dubbed "Ride with the Forty," for the 40 passengers and crew members who perished on Flight 93.

"The forty are riding with whoever joins the ride," said Ken, a Baltimore police detective.

This will be the third Ride with the Forty, he said. Two previous rides from Newark to San Francisco raised nearly $150,000 for the Flight 93 memorial, near the tiny town of Shanksville, Pa. This year, the ride will end there, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will mark the memorial’s opening.

Ken will be joined by his wife and brother, some friends and Erich Bay, whose wife, Lorraine, was a flight attendant on Flight 93. They plan to track their journey with a GPS locator, and people can follow in real time at RideWithThe40.org.

The group hopes other riders will join in along the route. In the past, Nacke said, they were 150-people strong by the time they reached San Francisco.

"It’s not an easy journey," Nacke said. "You’re on a motorcycle, the weather plays in, emotions play in. It’s really a labor of love."

acrawford@sfexaminer.com

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Amy Crawford

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