Thousands Expected for Annual Big Nick’s Ride for the Fallen

YARMOUTH – More than 1,000 motorcycles will take to the streets of Cape Cod Sunday for the annual Big Nick’s Ride for the Fallen.

The ride is held in honor of Nicholas Xiarhos, a U.S. Marine who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009, and the 13 other Cape Codders who have died serving our country since 9/11.

It is the annual largest motorcycle ride on Cape Cod.

“It’s proven to be a very special, patriotic, honorable event for anyone in either in the ride or the 14 Gold Star families across Cape Cod who miss their loved ones,” said Steven Xiarhos, Nick’s father and the Deputy Chief of Police in Yarmouth.

This year’s event carries additional meaning for the Xiarhos family. The ride will be held 8 years to the day after they learned that Nick had been killed in action.

“He was special and we miss him,” Deputy Chief Xiarhos said. “As the years go on, it doesn’t get any better, it doesn’t get any easier, it doesn’t go away. I guess you just learn to live with it.”

All proceeds benefit the Nicholas G. Xiarhos Foundation, which supports local military families, veterans, and a scholarship at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, Nick’s alma mater.

Gates will open at 7:30 Sunday morning at the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Complex in Bourne. A pre-ride ceremony honoring Cape Cod’s fallen will be held at 9 a.m.

Riders will depart the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Complex in Bourne at 10 a.m. Sunday. They will then travel north on MacArthur Boulevard to the Bourne Rotary, where the route then turns east onto Sandwich Road. Riders will follow Route 6A through Sandwich, Barnstable, and Yarmouth before a right turn onto Setucket Road. The route will then include turns on North Dennis Road, North Main Street, Regional Avenue, and Station Avenue before ending at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School.

The cost to participate is $20, which includes the ride and lunch. T-shirts will be sold at the end of the ride for $10.

Ride organizers encourage Cape Codders and visitors alike to line the route and support the participants.

“We can thank those veterans who made it home and that’s where our hearts are,” Xiarhos said. “Thank God they made it home.”

“They should always feel respected and loved and this is a chance for Cape Codders to do that,” Xiarhos added.

The fourteen Cape Codders killed serving our country since 9/11 are:

United States Army Staff Sergeant Alicia A. Birchett of Mashpee

United States Army Private First Class Paul E. Conlon of Mashpee​

United States Navy Captain Gerald F. DeConto of Sandwich ​

United States Army Sergeant Alexander H. Fuller of Barnstable

​United States Army Sergeant Matthew R. Gallagher of Falmouth

United States Navy SEAL Kevin A. Houston of Barnstable

​United States Marine Captain Eric A. Jones of Mashpee

​United States Marine Private First Class Daniel A.C. McGuire of Mashpee

​United States Army Sergeant Matthew A. Pucino of Bourne ​

United States Army Private First Class Clinton E. Springer II of Bourne

​United States Army Sergeant Zachary D. Tellier of Falmouth ​

United States Army Sergeant Mark R. Vecchione of Eastham

Commander Francis T Williams of Sandwich

​​United States Marine Corporal Nicholas G. Xiarhos of Yarmouth.

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