When Vito Pagliarulo pulled up to the "Ride for Justice," he recognized some familiar faces. He, like many participants, returns year after year to support Doctor William Petit, whose wife and two daughters were killed in their Cheshire home in 2007.
"It's the cause. The original first year there was no way to say no. We had to do it. It was such a great cause supporting the family and everything,” said Pagliarulo, of Bristol.
“We’re here every year to support him. You know, he’s been through a lot. We’re trying to do the right thing. Good versus evil and good always wins,” said Mark McMahon, of Berlin.
An avid biker, Ron Catucci started the ride in 2009, driven by his personal connection to the cause.
“There was the fire involved, and I was in a fire before and just the whole thing was terrible terrible tragedy and it touched me,” said Catucci.
The crisp autumn air drew hundreds of Harleys on a fall foliage ride from Bristol to Cheshire. They expected at least 800 motorcycle riders, and hundreds of more passengers.
"The people and the warmth feeling and riding, just getting out and enjoying the day,” said Dale Cattanach, also of Bristol.
“We’ve got more pre-registers this year than we ever had,” Catucci said.
Twenty-six members of the South Georgia Hogs rode up to Bristol on 20 bikes.
“We were up here a couple of years ago. We brought back double the people that we had last time,” said Kay Samoly, of Newnan, Georgia.
The money raised furthers the Petit Family Foundation's mission.
“We wanted to pick areas that we thought Jennifer, Hayley, and Michaela would support. I think people by participating feel they can be part of doing something good for the community,” said Dr. William Petit.
The Petit Family Foundation has given more than a million dollars to support victims of violence, patients with chronic illness, and women studying science.
“We look forward to the camaraderie. We look forward to meeting and making new friends here, and we look forward to coming back here and doing it again,” Samoly said.