(CBS) -- Motorists on I-55 can be excused if they did a double-take Saturday. That WAS Gov. Bruce Rauner, escorted by eight Harley-riding state troopers and hundreds of other motorcyclists, riding south to Springfield as part of a charity fundraiser.
Rauner, who said he rides his black Harley between Springfield and Chicago a lot, was helping to raise money to pay for military veterans to participate in the "Honor Flight" programs, enabling them to visit the war memorials in Washington, D.C. Rauner agreed to match donations by the other riders.
The ride began in west suburban Countryside, with stops in Villa Park and St. Charles before heading downstate. He pronounced it a beautiful day for a ride before leaving St. Charles, and promised all who drove the 250 miles a hearty dinner of barbecued brisket at the governor's mansion.
Rauner said it was an "inaugural" ride, and said he hoped to make it an annual event. He has the full backing of the motorcycle safety and lobbying group ABATE.
Rauner rode near the front, following eight state troopers on official Harleys. Rauner rode his personal black Harley, wearing a black helmet, blue jeans, a white dress shirt and a black leather vest that bore an American flag beneath a green patch that read "governor."
The ride began at 8:30 a.m. and was expected to take until about 4:30 p.m.
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