3rd Annual Backroads Bash for M.D.A.

Tyler gets a ride on Frank and Sandy’s Harley Ultra
Saturday, September 30, was the date, and Blue Springs Harley-Davidson , in Blue Springs, Missouri, was the place for the 3rd Annual Back Roads Bash. Proceeds from this charity ride go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association , a voluntary health agency working to defeat neuromuscular diseases through research on a worldwide scale and providing much-needed services to the children and adults affected by more than 40 diseases. It’s definitely a worthy cause, deserving of the massive amount of support provided annually by Harley-Davidson dealerships from coast to coast and worldwide.

Riders of various makes of motorcycles gathered at the dealership to turn in their donations and head out on a ride of a bit over 100 miles through the “back roads” east of Kansas City. There were a total of 113 riders and passengers registered. The route circled back to Blue Springs Harley where a delicious meal was ready for the hungry bikers through the courtesy of Taylor Made Catering. Entertainment for the adults and children in attendance included live music, a Jeff Gordon NASCAR simulator, a moon walk, a caricature artist, and a stilt-walker.

Blue Springs Harley-Davidson sponsors a race team that includes road racer Walt Sipp ,A.M.A. flat track specialist Jess Roeder, and A.H.D.R.A. drag racer Danny Worth. Dave Worth feels that sponsoring motorcycle racers is a great way for his dealership to promote the sport of motorcycling. Both Walt and Danny, Dave’s son, are employed at Blue Springs Harley-Davidson. All three had their bikes on display during the Back Roads Bash and were available to chat with race fans and sign autographs.

At least two people attended the event in wheelchairs. One was Don Post who is in his early sixties and has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as A.L.S. or Lou Gehrig’s disease. While assisting the M.D.A. representatives who were answering questions and passing out literature, Don was brightening everyone’s day in his inimitable way. Also making his way around the dealership in a wheelchair was 13-year-old Tyler Bossow, accompanied by his mom Sara and his step-dad Randy. Tyler, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, loves motorcycles, Harleys in particular, and was eager to check out all the bikes. He had attended an M.D.A. summer camp and was very excited when Harley riders came to visit. A special treat was in store for Tyler on this day. Frank Faisl took him for a ride on his beautiful white Harley Ultra Classic. After the ride, Frank spent quite some time with Tyler answering his many questions about the motorcycle. Tyler attends middle school in Blue Springs and will soon receive a motorized wheelchair from the M.D.A. to replace his manual one. Kelly, one of the M.D.A. representatives, informed me that Tyler loves NASCAR racing and is a huge fan of Tony Stewart. To make Tyler’s weekend complete, Tony was victorious in the race at Kansas Speedway the following afternoon.

One of the special attractions each year at the Back Roads Bash is a drawing for a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Last year’s winner , Steve Brown, astonished everyone by immediately giving away his newly won Fat Boy to his cancer stricken younger brother Dean. Noticing that Steve had returned to the event this year as a volunteer worker in the parking lot, I asked him how his brother was getting along. It was great to hear that Dean has had two consecutive clean checkups and is well on his way to beating the disease. Steve and I agreed that attitude plays a big part in a cancer patient’s recovery, and the new Fat Boy may have been just the medicine Dean needed.

Before the bike giveaway festivities began, Lori Worth Smith presented the ride prizes. Gift certificates of $150 each were awarded for the high and low dice rolls. John Morales won a new leather jacket for being the highest donor. Tyler was introduced to the crowd, and his mom thanked the participants on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. A number of names were drawn to be added to those who had already been selected as finalists through a call-in contest for WDAF 106.5 listeners. The 106 people who were now eligible to participate in the final stage of the contest formed a long line in the order determined by yet another drawing. The plan was for each finalist to choose a key in turn and attempt to open a locked box on the stage. Whichever contestant drew the key that fit the lock would be the lucky winner of a beautiful new 2006 Harley-Davidson XL883R Sportster. As everyone anxiously waited for the appointed time for the process to start, WDAF’s David Lawrence told the audience about a similar drawing that was once conducted by a sister station with over 100 keys, none of which fit the lock due to a mix-up.

Finally it was time for what many expected would be a time-consuming process of trying key after key in the lock. The first contestant reached into the container, pulled out a key, inserted the key into the lock, and, with a twist of his wrist, OPENED THE BOX dashing the hopes of 105 contestants behind him and astonishing everyone! No one was more surprised that the lucky winner, Martin E. Korb of Shawnee, Kansas. His wife Katie joined him on stage to celebrate. She told the audience that her husband had sold his new motorcycle 30 years earlier to fund the down payment on a house for their newly combined family. With the kids now grown, the happy couple declared that it’s now time for them to play. Their new Sportster will certainly facilitate that.

The proceeds from this year’s Back Roads Bash amounted to around $3,600. A big THANK YOU goes out to Blue Springs Harley-Davidson, WDAF Radio, and Taylor Made Catering for their sponsorship of the ride and especially to the volunteers from the Greater Kansas City H.O.G. Chapter who worked hard to make the event safe and enjoyable for all those who participated. Lori Worth-Smith said, “Our 3rd Annual Back Roads Bash was a huge success. It was a beautiful day, and everyone had a GREAT time. We love being able to get our customers and friends together, raise money for M.D.A., and enjoy each others company!”

Story and photos by Stripe