Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Teddy Bear Run to Children’s Hospital - Birmingham, Alabama

Written by  November 30, 2005

This year’s Teddy Bear Run to the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama was by far the largest, most successful to date.

We all gathered at Riders Harley-Davidson in Trussville, Alabama where the parking lot was abuzz with over 500 motorcycles. There were several tables set up in the front of the parking lot for the masses that had come to register for the ride.

Every year Riders has several large bins of stuffed animals set up in the store for months for people to purchase, with the proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital, as well as the animals getting packed onto the bikes to make the trip to all of the kids. This year they actually ran out of animals. But Linda, who is in charge of the clothing department, saved the day as she had rescued some of the animals and had them set aside, so everyone on the day of the ride had animals to purchase and carry with them to the hospital. I love to see all of the motorcycles loaded down with “critters.”

Roger Kinard was busy giving away important things, like the Willy G. autographed leather vest that they had been raffling for the past few months. They raised over $1,300 from that vest, and Mrs. Rebecca Cobb became the lucky owner.

Poor Tim Peek had the task of riding Ms. Alabama, Alexa Jones, in his sidecar. This is the second year he has gotten to ride Ms. Alabama. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it! She dressed in leathers from the Harley shop, as it was quite chilly and much needed. They had to have gone into to children’s section to find chaps small enough to fit her tiny frame. She really looked so cute in all of her leather gear, and she should consider getting some chaps of her own, because they looked damn good on her! I think that she had a really good time on her very first motorcycle ride. I wonder if she thought about things like that being part of her duties during her rein as Ms. Alabama!

We had a very large police escort for this year’s ride. Usually it is a little bit into the ride before they have to start working really hard, but this time it started as soon as we all pulled out from Riders, where we started backing the cars up before we even got on to the interstate. When you have that many motorcycles on the road, they tend to make a pretty impressive showing all stretched out up the road. The police would pull off to block the entrance ramps on the interstate, where there would be a line of cars, and most of them would get out of their cars and wave at us as we went by. Our escorts always enjoy this duty, as they get to haul ass to catch back up to us. It’s always a pretty awesome feeling for all of us riding as well.

But the most awesome feeling comes after we all get to the hospital and see all of the kids who are able to come out to see all of the bikes. Their faces just light up, and for just a moment, they can forget about all of the medical stuff! Talk about making an impressive showing. When we all get parked, there are motorcycles on either side of the road for blocks leading up to the Hospital.

This year after thanking everyone for coming, thanking our escorts for a safe ride, and thanking our Grand Marshal, Roger informed everyone that we had the largest group ever, but we were $700 short of making their goal for the year. Within a matter of a few minutes, people from all directions started approaching him with donations, and with that, we did make their goal. They had raised over $10,000. That is very heart warming!

Every month the H.O.G chapter makes a trip to the Children’s Hospital with stuffed animals and things for all of the kids who are there, so this is not just a one-day thing that they do, it is all year long! This year there were several kids who were able to come outside, and of course there were the groups that took wagons filled with toys up to the ones who couldn’t come out. It’s always such an extremely touching event to participate in. It’s no wonder that it keeps growing every year as more and more people want to become a part of it all!

When the ride was over, everyone rode over to the Iron Horse Café’ where Jerry and Sammy welcomed all of us to come eat, drink, and be merry!! They have a really nice bike night over there on Thursday night. And a large menu of excellent food to choose from as well as good drink prices. We all enjoy going over there and spending time. Jerry and Sammy have their place set up to make all of the bikers feel very welcomed. They are both really great guys and always do whatever they can to participate in the motorcycle events.

Thanks for another great ride, and keep up the good work guys, we are very proud of you all!

Write-On and Ride-On
Story and Photos by Lynn Reynolds and
Leigh Lilly - Birmingham, Alabama