Posted 9/23/2011 11:09 AM (#60577) Subject: Two fun rides for help from sidecar pilots
Location: Colleyville, TX
You're probably familiar with the national Ride for Kids program to help kids with brain tumors. They use sidecars to take local kids with brain tumors (and their families) on the ride with all the motorcycles. We get to volunteer to take those kids and it is a very rewarding experience.
This Sunday, 9/25, is the Baltimore area ride
Next Sunday, Oct, 2, is the Dallas-FortWorth Ride for Kids, which draws riders from all over north, east and central Texas as well as some from Oklahoma and Louisiana. I'll have my rig at this ride. Here's the flier for that one and if you would be willing to take a child on the ride, show up on the early side of registration with current proof of insurance, drivers license and gas in your tank. Just tell the parking crew that you're there as a VIP escort and they'll direct you to the right spot. Because of these kid's health challenges, they never know until the morning of the ride whether we'll have 3 kids or 23 kids who need sidecars. Last year, there were 15 families and they could have used more rigs. Seems like there is uaually a need for more, but I did go to one ride (not in Texas) where they had more sidecars than were needed, but I hear that is the exception around the country.
Posted 9/23/2011 8:14 PM (#60582 - in reply to #60577) Subject: RE: Two fun rides for help from sidecar pilots
Is this something that is done nationally?
We used to take kids at Kamp Kemo here in SC, this year they chose to cancel the motorcycles for whatever reason. There were a lot of bikers (many were 1%'ers) that were very discouraged. I'm not sure what the reasons for the cancellation was, and it truly doesn't matter. There were some that thought it was because there were too many outlaw clubs, I don't know. But I do know the joy we felt, yes, we felt, when we could let the helpers take them off the bikes, and hear them say, "Thanks biker!" The most gut-wrenching part was when you said, "maybe we'll see you next year?," and they would respond "no, I probably won't be here," and you realize the reason why. But their faces belied the sentence they had just pronounced.
The joy on the faces of the kids was only exceeded by the bug-filled smiles of the riders. Last year I had an emergency come up and it would have been my first year with the sidecar, and be able to open opportunities for the kids with limbs missing who were unable ride on the conventional bikes and trikes, I truly hope they will invite us back this coming spring. It sounds like these rides would be right up our alley.
I have a friend that is also a retired Army medic that rides a Ural rig, we really would love something like this to do as a way give back to others. I guess you never do stop caring for folks even if you are retired.
Duh, I guess I should read more closely before I post a reply, sorry.
Posted 9/24/2011 3:50 AM (#60592 - in reply to #60577) Subject: Re: Two fun rides for help from sidecar pilots
Location: Southern Tier of New York
Doktor, if you go to the website listed in the brochure rideforekids.org or http://www.pbtfus.org/rideforkids/ there is a lot more information. Our schedule finally cooperated so that we were able to participate in a ride this year in the Mid-Hudson region of NY state. Had to ride 4 hours to get there, of which 3 1/2 was in the rain, but as others have stated it was an experience very hard to describe. Great kids, great organization and a very humbling experience. The young lady who rode in our sidecar has had more surguries in the last 3 years than I have had in my entire life, she had to leave a special camp for these kids in order to have chemo on Thursday and still made sure her parents had signed her up to be able to ride in a sidecar on Sunday. How can you not draw inspiration from the strength these kids show in their fight to get healthy? If you have a ride in your area, I encourage you to attend.