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Pappy's Run Brings Out Thousands of Motorcyle Riders

The 36th Annual Event Honors Donald "Pappy" Pittsley, Who Led the Fight to Repeal Mandatory Helmet Laws

Route 32 was at a standstill in Norwich Sunday morning as thousands of motorcycle riders embarked on the 36th Annual Pappy's Run, which started at the VFW Post in Norwich Industrial Park. As part of the event many of the riders went to Montville's Comstock Cemetery to pay respects at the gravesite of Donald "Pappy" Pittsley.

Pittsley worked with Congressman Stewart McKinney in the 1970s to sponsor a law that forbade the  U.S. Department of Transportation from withholding federal highway funds to states that had not passed mandatory helmet laws. It is likely had it not been for the efforts of Donald Pittsley, all states would have laws that require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. He died unexpectedly in 1975 just before his battle was won in Congress.

Many of the riders Sunday parked their bikes along the road and socialized with fellow riders at the Brown Derby Lounge parking lot on Norwich-New London Tpke. in Uncasville. After the event there was a post-run Barbeque at the Norwich VFW Post 594.

The event was peaceful, with numerous state troopers stationed along the route for traffic control.

John Ayres May 30, 2011 at 09:27 AM
I didn't ride in Pappy's Run, but I saw just about everyone who did, since I was stuck on the off ramp on 79A with about 30 other cars. Wouldn't it have made more sense to post the state trooper on 395 rather than on the bottom of the off-ramp? Just an observation.
REVMAN May 27, 2013 at 09:18 AM
John -Why they never advertise the run is beyond me as people should know when & where the most traffic will be but all of our local news papers ignore it.WHY?

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