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25th Memorial Ride in honor of Pettit

 

Elizabeth Behrendt/Daily Globe

The American Legion in Wakefield, site of the Mercer Loons Motorcycle Club’s first stop.

MERCER, Wis. — Scott “Scottabosh” Tomek led the Mercer Loons Motorcycle Club as it held its 26th Memorial Ride in honor of all downed riders on Saturday.

“It’s a little bittersweet this year again. Last year was really tough. We lost Kat the week before,” Tomek said.

Motorcyclist Kathryn “Kat” Pettit was the owner of the Dear Lodge Bar in Mercer for more than 20 years. She met her untimely death last summer while out planning last year’s memorial ride when she had a chance encounter with a deer near Cornucopia, Wis.

Tomek, a mason, had been slated to plot the ride with Pettit, but work — and fate — stepped in and derailed his plans. “I had to work that day. Maybe someone was looking out for me,” he said.

Commemorative patches were made for the the club out of Pettit’s brown leather chaps. “Time heals all wounds, I guess,” said Tomek.

The first stop after leaving Mercer was at the American Legion Post 11 on River Street in Wakefield, followed by the Bear Trap in Saxon for a bite to eat, and continuing on with stops in Mellen and Park Falls before heading back to the Dear Lodge in Mercer.

“It’s about 145 miles. Real diversified chunk of the countryside, lots of winding roads,” Tomek said.

“I don’t know a bike club in the world, the country anyway, that’s ever had a 26th anniversary ride. Not consecutively,” Tomek said.

The Mercer Loons Motorcycle Club will hold its next event, the 26th annual Loon Party, on Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Dear Lodge.