BEMIDJI-The sound of motorcycles and the smell of maple syrup filled the air.

"The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day to ride," said Wayne Johnson, Ride for the Troops Committee president.

More than 300 motorcycles rumbled as they prepared to set off on a 110- mile ride, during a pre-event breakfast in Bemidji on Sunday.

Participants of Sunday's 14th annual Ride for the Troops gathered in the parking lot of Marketplace Foods to park their bikes and start their day off with a pancake breakfast served by Boy Scout Troop No. 82 and other volunteers.

Johnson took time during a pre-ride ceremony to present local volunteer organizations with donations for their continued contributions to the event. Ride for the Troops presented three checks during the ceremony to Bemidji High School's JROTC, Boy Scout Troop No. 82 and the Civil Air Patrol.

After breakfast was underway, the pre-ride events continued with raffles, T-shirts sales and presentations just before riders rolled out on their journey.

BHS' JROTC Color Guard presented the colors before the national anthem was sung by Ian Trosen. Thank yous were given once again to volunteers and sponsors during the ceremony.

Riders then took off from Marketplace at noon. This year's ride was shortened due to construction along the event's usual route. Riders will make their way through Becida, Lake Itasca, Zerkel and Shelvin.

Riders were scheduled to end the ride at the Bemidji Eagles Club at about 4 p.m., site of a hog feed.