Motorcycle tour is coming to Albert Lea

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Depart Aug. 22: Indianapolis

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Aug. 22: Concordia, Mo.

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Aug. 23: Bethany, Mo.

Aug. 24: Albert Lea

Aug. 25: Stevens Point, Wis.

Arrive Aug. 26: Milwaukee

An American Legion motorcycle tour plans to make Albert Lea a stop on its five-day summer tour.

The American Legion Legacy Run 1,400-mile motorcycle ride is beginning in Indianapolis, the site of the American Legion headquarters, and ending in Milwaukee.

It is the first time the 17-year ride has stopped or gone through Albert Lea. The ride raises money for scholarships.

“It’s an opportunity for veterans to help young people through college,” said Arnie Mulso, adjutant for the Leo Carey Post 56.

It is from Aug. 22 to 26. On the third day of the ride, Aug. 24, the so-far 250 participants are scheduled to spend the night in Albert Lea before continuing.

Albert Lea is mentioned in the June edition of The American Legion Magazine on page 61 in an announcement about the Legacy Run’s route.

Eligibility for participation in the ride is being a member of the American Legion, the Legion Auxiliary or the Sons of the American Legion. People can sign up at

The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to the children of fallen servicemen and women who were on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001. The registration fee is $50 for riders and supporters, $25 for passengers.

Mulso and Club Manager Todd Utpadel are coordinating and planning the run’s stop in Albert Lea. The bikers are expected to arrive from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 24 and greeted on arrival by supporters, who Mulso hope will line the bridges and viaducts, proudly displaying American flags.

That night the North Broadway Avenue parking lot and North Broadway Avenue itself will be used for parking.

A meal and beverage will be served in the parking lot that evening for $8, Mulso said. Music will be provided by the Albert Lea Community Band; the prospect of a parade is being discussed.

“We hope people come out to eat, have fellowship, listen to music, and look at the bikes,” Mulso said.

The American Legion national commander is slated to present a donation to the riders. Mulso said other local organizations are welcomed to donate, too.

After spending the night in motels and hotels, the Legacy Riders are scheduled to eat breakfast at 5:45 a.m. outside the Legion Club and leave by 8 a.m. The most business will go to the riders’ lodgings, but local motorcycle shops, including Harley Davidson and Northstar Sports, have agreed to stay open longer to cater to bikers who may need repairs.

So far, Mulso said the largest challenge the Legion currently faces is securing local participation.

“It’s another way of showing our patriotic commitments to veterans,” Mulso said.

Mulso said it’s the first and probably last time anything like this has come through Albert Lea so everyone should try to come out and enjoy it. With Monday marking the first day of official city planning, Mulso said now it’s up to Albert Lea to show off.

The Legacy Run is organized by the American Legion and the American Legion Riders. The Riders are a motorcycle enthusiast association within the national Legion organization. There are about 106,000 Riders members. One well-known chapter in the Midwest is the Patriot Guard, which protects funerals of fallen soldiers from protesters.