Motorcyclists are a generous lot, and love supporting worthy causes.
Recently, I participated in a motorcycle benefit ride sponsored by a couple of local motorcycle clubs, the Wingmen of Northeast Georgia, and the ROF (Ring Of Fire) RC. These rugged bikers have a soft heart for supporting needy children, and for the last six years have organized this ride together to raise funds and supply toys for Christmas gifts in Barrow County, Georgia. After meeting several members of both clubs at a local Bike Night, they invited me to come join them, and I welcomed the opportunity. I’m glad I did, as I got quite the blessing out of it myself, as I witnessed the results of their endeavor and beheld the looks in their eyes as they bought their offerings to a local fire station for drop off.
The ride included about 65 motorcycles, many two-up, with about 100 or so total ride participants. Other clubs from across north Georgia joined in, including the “Redrum Motorcycle Club”, a Native American/First Nations club with chapters in other countries as well (I see a story about them soon). The ride wound its way from the Wingmen clubhouse through rolling countryside to the City of Winder Fire Department, on an absolutely beautiful Autumn day. Upon arrival, All the riders brought in their gifts to the fire house, and with FD personnel and bikers gathered around, made a presentation to Joan Mathews, who coordinates the yearly donation and gift distribution for the department, with an additional check for $3635 to go towards the children and families they would be assisting this Christmas. As everyone posed for a big group photo in front of a fire engine, their faces were beaming with the joy that can only be felt with generosity.
Bikes and riders of all types and backgrounds. United for one purpose.
Road Dirt Associate Editor Phil Gauthier and his childhood chum Greg Keys had participated the same day in a charity ride to raise funds for Joslyn Stinchcomb, a teenager who had suffered and survived a horrific attack by a pair of pit bulls. The “JBird Flight To Recovery” Poker Run, sponsored and organized by the Revenant Brotherhood, made several stops around north Georgia, saw over 200 riders take part, hosted two live bands, held a fund raising raffle, and raised over $7000 for Joslyn’s recovery. The Revenant riders consider themselves a “Charitable Brotherhood” who love riding and love showing compassion for “the least of these” in their communities.
A few shots from the poker run Phil and Greg participated in. Prayers for Joslyn’s full recovery.
I share these for two reasons. First, they are merely small, local examples that illustrate a universal truth about motorcyclists- we are a generous lot, and we love worthy causes. All over the country, across the globe in fact, motorcycle riders are among the most generous, selfless, and compassionate people in society. Whether for international causes like the Movember Foundation which the annual worldwide “Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride” supports, the annual Rolling Thunder ride to Washington DC for military veterans’ causes, or local and regional rides like the ones we attended, bikers give of their time, their talents, and their resources for the betterment of others. That is never more on display than during the holidays. While crowds are out (or online) focused on shopping, motorcyclists are planning and participating in rides and rallies to raise support for others in need. Riding motorcycles, we know life is precious, is fragile, is fleeting, and is best lived to the full. And part of living life to the full (along with riding, of course), is aiding others in need.
Second, we’d like to challenge our readers to participate in a local benefit ride, charity poker run, or bike night for a cause this Christmas month. There are so many needs all around us that we can give of ourselves to, especially in this crazy year, with so many sick or still out of work and struggling just to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables, much less gifts for their children. We can help, we do help, we will help. It’s what we do, it’s in our blood, it’s part of our riding culture.
A few more from the Toy Ride. Unsure who feels the greater blessing, the givers or recipients.
So search your social media, check out flyers at your local bike shop, talk with your riding buddies, and find a ride or rally to get involved in. You’ll make someone’s day, bless their holiday, and receive a deep soul satisfaction in return. Plus, you’ll get a ride in. What could be better than that?
Blessings on you and yours this Christmas and Holiday Season.