KC Creations, known for building high quality big inch bikes, has another story to tell. This story is about helping out families whose children are afflicted with Downs Syndrome. As part of their 10th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, June 25, they hosted The Ride for Special Children, and this year’s event was a big success.
On Saturday at 2 p.m., around 200 bikes departed from KC Creations, 7524 Frontage Road, Overland Park on a nearly 90-mile ride that took participants through the counties of Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Douglas and Miami and included cities such as Bonner Springs, Linwood, Eudora, Desoto, Gardner and Louisburg. One celebrity participant, KC Chief’s wide receiver Eddie Kennison, was a welcome participant in the event. At each planned stop along the way, the dice were rolled. At the end of the ride, those with the high and low scores were each awarded $50 gift certificates from KC Creations.
Road Captains Denny Smith and Keith Bunce kicked things off and led the group through Merriam and Shawnee to Twisters in Bonner Springs, the first destination for the ride. The 90-degree temperatures did not deter this group, who cooled off at this brief stop. The line of bikes in the back lot was impressive, particularly to the group participating in a wedding shower scheduled at the same time. After some cold drinks, the group saddled up and headed towards Linwood to visit one of the most unique biker bars in the area.
The city of Linwood is familiar with seeing groups of bikers rumble down their less than crowded main street towards Fro’s, the primary local business. Three youngsters, with nothing better to do that day, were clearly excited as the large group of bikes arrived at stop number two. This place is your old school bar! The waitresses are friendly, the beer is always cold and the atmosphere is welcoming. If you want to find a unique and antagonistic T-shirt, Fro’s is THE place to shop. Out back, there’s a patio area where you can sit in the shade of old trees and breathe in the clean air of a small town while consuming your beverages. And while your there, don’t forget to take a peek at the ceiling, near the TV in the back. You’re sure to find some most interesting photos!
From Fro’s, the group headed west then south and into Eudora, but were just passing through. From Eudora, it was old Highway 10 into and through Desoto, then south on Gardner road, through Gardner and to Tumbleweed, right off old 56 Highway.
Tumbleweed is likely Gardner’s most frequented bar. A small crowd already present made the setting a near full house by the time all the riders had dismounted and came inside. While at Tumbleweed, the group continued the process of preventing dehydration, and many also took comfort in appetizers, a game of pool, or just some relief in the cool air-conditioned environment. With one stop remaining, the ride had been a success so far.
Leaving Tumbleweed, the group continued south on Gardner Road, across the scenic north end of Hillsdale Lake, then around to 255th Street and southwest across the Hillsdale Lake dam. The site of boaters on the lake likely encouraged some in the group to stop and take a dip, but since we were a bit behind, we continued on. From the lake, it was south to US 68, then east to the final destination of Timbercreek Bar and Restaurant in Louisburg.
At Timbercreek, the riders settled in with more refreshments and waited for the big event, an auction of items donated for First Down for Downs. Some of the items included in the auction were a custom picture of an old FLH, a mini-chopper, performance parts and a Big Inch Bikes Chopper Jacket autographed by many of the celebrity bike builders that Cheryl Suter, wife of owner Kim Suter had been in contact with over the last year, including Billy Lane and Kendall Johnson.
Overall, the fund-raiser was a big success. Even in the heat, everyone had fun! Incredibly enough, over $13,000 was raised for this event, bringing the to-date total from six events to over $90,000! Event organizer, Jimmy Jack Clayton, whose son Ted is this year’s poster child for First Down for Downs was elated! The best part about this fund-raising effort is that thanks to corporate sponsors and volunteer assistance, 100% of all proceeds went to the KC Downs Syndrome Guild! Congratulations and thanks to all who participated!
Story and photos by Nic