Local bikers show a soft side for troops

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (KBOI) - A group of more than 1,000 motorcyclists took over the Treasure Valley for a cause. The bikers spent their day riding from Meridian, to Mountain Home and back to Nampa to raise money for local troops.

The event is called Idaho Patriot Thunder. It only started four years ago, and organizer and motorcyclist Todd Godfrey says it's already one of the biggest motorcycle rides in the state. He thinks that has to do with who the bikers are getting to help.

"The military touches everyone's life," he said, "There's a lot of great charities out there in the Treasure Valley, but the military touches everyone, directly or indirectly."

The rally was so big, that when all the riders lined up, their bikes spanned 11 miles on the road. They teamed up with local businesses in hopes of raising $30,000 for local military charities that help struggling troops, veterans and their families.

In addition to riding their bikes, motorcyclists also honored troops with a patriot rally in Mountain Home and an end of the day celebration at the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa.

Godfrey says the event's big turn out shows that there's more to bikers than their rough and tough exterior.

"We do have a heart," he said, "We love to give to charities. We want to give back to the community, and that's just a part of the lifestyle that motorcyclists are all about. No matter what you ride...everybody that rides two or three wheels has a huge heart."