Julian and Betsy Harwood of Manchester hope more than 100 other riders will join them Saturday on the third annual Talon Harwood Memorial Ride, in memory of their son, who died after suffering an asthma attack seven years ago.

This year, the motorcycle ride takes on even more meaning because the couple is getting remarried after divorcing in 2009.

The strain of dealing with Talon’s death was a big part of the reason the couple split up, Julian Harwood said.

Their marriage ended on paper, but the couple’s relationship never really did. The Harwoods, a former Hallowell police officer and a nurse, continued to spend time together, much of which was spent on Julian’s Harley-Davidson.

“We rode the first 5,000 miles without saying a word to each other,” he said. “It was kind of our church. That’s how we got back together.”

He bought the bike, which a fellow police officer rode in the procession at Talon’s funeral, a couple of years after his son’s death.

“I’d never ridden a motorcycle before,” Harwood said.

On Saturday, the two will say their vows at Pemaquid Point. They will promise each other they will keep riding together, no matter how scary or tragic the trip gets.

“It’s definitely going to be a new beginning for us,” Harwood said. “It’s coming home for a lot of people.”

The Harwood family, which includes 23-year-old Travis and 21-year-old Lauren, hit upon the idea of a memorial ride three years ago as a way to honor Talon.

This year, bikers – and also those who want to drive cars – will meet for ride registration beginning at 9 a.m. at Mike’s Water Street Grill in Gardiner. The ride to the coast and wedding ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and ends sometime around 1 p.m. at the Pittston Fairgrounds for a barbecue being offered by the Texas Roadhouse. There will be entertainment and raffles for prizes that include an enclosed bike trailer, a lawnmower and weed trimmer, and an 18-item meat package from Fuller’s Market in Gardiner.

The event is a fundraiser for LifeFlight of Maine, which carried Talon to Maine Medical Center in Portland. A portion of the proceeds will go toward new seating at the First Baptist Church of Gardiner. The church’s pastor, Ted Chaffee, is chaplain for the central Maine chapter of the Defenders Motorcycle Club, which comprises current and former military members and law enforcement officers, including Harwood.

The memorial ride raised nearly $16,000 for LifeFlight and the Ronald McDonald House of Portland in the first two years.

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