An eerie silence fills the room, a dark computer screen is neither sending or receiving information. He hardly thinks of that this morning. The blank look staring back from the mirror softly covers the throbbing heart deep inside. A few more strokes of the toothbrush, and a scan around the bedroom- then a soft kiss on the sleeping cheek of his beloved wife still lost in early morning dreams.

The clomp of the boots on their way to the door. In an instant they are outside, the faint glow of dawn reveals the waiting bike, carefully loaded with the gear selected over the months of planning. The only sound is the silence of the crisp and cool air.

The motor snaps to life with the first stab on the starter and seconds later they slowly accelerate down the quiet street. Two minutes pass and they're on open road, again accelerating but with more throttle, away from the concern of sleeping neighbors. In about an two hours they will be at the truck stop to meet the others- three maybe four hundred bikes with veterans and Americans they do not yet know.

And so it begins, computers across the country powering down, and eager motorcycles powering up. It is underway! And prayers go out from friends we have never met in person yet -- wishing us a safe ride.

Never forget - Freedom is not free!

By Tom Cameron & Dan "Boots" Farren [Edited by Harry Parmer]