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Thousands Of Motorcycle Riders Pay Tribute To Fallen Soldiers With ‘West Coast Thunder’ Ride

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RIVERSIDE (CBS) — More than 7,000 motorcycle riders roared through Riverside Monday as part of a Memorial Day event that included a military tribute at the national cemetery.

The 13th annual West Coast Thunder parade departed from the Skip Fordyce Harley-Davidson on Indiana Avenue in Riverside shortly after 9 a.m. Monday.

The participants traversed 10 miles to attend a flag-raising ceremony and tribute at the Riverside National Cemetery.

The route ran east on Indiana to Arlington Avenue, turned south on Alessandro Boulevard and continued to Trautwein Road, then went east on Van Burn Boulevard until reaching the cemetery. Officers from the Riverside Police Department and the California Highway Patrol escorted the riders. From there, the riders planned to head to the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto for food and musical entertainment provided by Uncle Kracker.

Funds from the parade entrance fees go to the Riverside National Cemetery Support Committee, which uses the donations to build monuments and make other improvements at the cemetery. More than 155,000 military veterans have been buried there.

Since 1999, the event has raised approximately $350,000, according to a spokesman for Skip Fordyce, which has organized West Coast Thunder every year since 2000.

This year’s sponsors were Stater Bros. markets and 5-Hour Energy.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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