The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's
"Ride For Kids"
On Sunday morning, November 4th, many of our chapter members gathered for our 7:45 AM riders' meeting. The purpose of this day's ride was to attend the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's "Ride for Kids", which was being held at the Sarasota County Technical Institute in Sarasota, Florida. The morning brought a cloudless sky with temperatures in the low sixties, which required some light jackets for our trek across the skyway and then down the interstate to Sarasota.
Upon arriving we found that many other participants were already assembled for the event. There was a very good turnout, with all makes of bikes participating.
By the time that we rolled out of the parking lot, for what turned out to be an almost two hour escorted ride, the temperature had risen into the mid- seventies and we gladly shed our heavy riding apparel. The weather could not have been any nicer for a ride. Upon our return we were treated with a bag lunch and liquid refreshments- which included a cappuccino if you so desired.
As we ate our lunches, the foundation's representative provided us with valuable information about the work of the foundation. He also credited those organizations and people that contributed their time and donations which made this event possible. He then introduced two pediatric doctors who told of their experiences with young children that they are treating for this horrible form of cancer. They related the emotional stress they and the families experience when they have to tell the parents of a young child that is diagnosed with this illness. Fortunately, the research funded by the foundation is making progress in the treatment of these kids, but still has a long way to go. He then introduced five kids that are survivors of this form of cancer.
Our chapter was recognized as being in the top five organizations for our contributions donated to the foundation.
We had collected and contributed over three thousand dollars for this event. A job well done, folks! In addition to this recognition we were the largest organization represented, with a showing of twenty-nine bikes ! Our chapter members were asked to go on the stage so that our picture could be taken for this event. Just as we smiled for the camera our weight caused the stage to buckle slightly. I guess the lunch they provided was just too filling !
As the day's event concluded we broke up into two groups to return home Some of the riders opted to return home via the gulf beaches and others opted to head straight home via the interstate.
For some of those that desired the more direct route home via the interstate this didn't turn out to be the quickest way to get home. It seems that after refueling and heading down the interstate towards home one of our members, who rides a pacific coast, found their rear tire had gone down and stopped to reinflate it. In order to insure her safety and offer help if necessary, the other riders stopped until she got going again. But wait, it doesn't stop here. About three miles down the road another member informs the group that his "wing" decided to take a rest. So everyone once again pulls off to the side of the roadway to render the necessary aid.
Well, this really turns out to be a fortunate travel interruption in that the pacific coast's rear tire is flat again and it was better to find it now rather than on the top of the Sunshine Skyway. As for the "wing" that isn't doing what it should do, a quick analyzation reveals that the alternator isn't doing its job.
Thank goodness for cell phones and the GWRRA family. Dear ole Rich, our chapter director who wasn't able to make the ride, was at home and wondering what he was going to do this afternoon. Rich, do you suppose you might bring your trailer and your spare alternator ? Being the good guy that he is, he came through and the pacific coast made it home on the trailer and the "wings" alternator was surgically changed out on the side of the interstate. Fortunately, most of those that stopped to help were on their way shortly after the breakdowns occurred. but a few stayed with the disabled bikes until help arrived.
Yes, this has been quite a day!