Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

2016 Ride for Kids – Birmingham, Alabama

Written by  October 31, 2016

Have you ever had one of those rides you do every year, for many years running, and it never rains that day? Well for us, one of them has been the “Ride for Kids,” benefiting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. We have been a part of this wonderful event for over 10 years and never seen a drop of rain. It’s like God told Mother Nature: “You can’t rain on this day!”

On Sunday, September 18, 2016, we woke up to some pretty dark clouds and a little bit of a mist. This was on the heels of it raining the day before, but we kept thinking that surely it wasn’t going to rain on the day of the ride. We readied for the day anyway, and just prepared for the rain. As we were leaving, the rain got a little harder and we were thinking this wasjust going to ruin the day, for the first time.

The closer we got to the Barber Motorsports Park where the event was to take place, the clouds started lifting and it actually wasn’t even wet there when we arrived. There were a few folks who had to travel through a little bit of rain to get there, but they didn’t let that stop them. As it turned out, we had several hundred bikes that made their way over to participate in this year’s event.

We had talked to a few people at the 911 ride that we had done earlier, and told them about this ride and invited them to come join us. They were some of the first people we ran into when we got there that morning. I think they enjoyed themselves enough that they will make this a regular event to attend in the future.

There was also a large group of our Sons of Armageddon buds who made the trip from around the state. These guys are all pretty cool. We first met them at the In the Wind fundraiser event after the really bad tornados had to come through the state a few years back. It was really nice seeing them again; hopefully, they will make this a regular thing for them as well.

Jerry Harvey was back this year, only to ride Ms. Bayleigh. Atlanta Chapter Manager Tammy Bates stepped in to take over Jerry’s duties at this event. They haven’t yet filled his position with the Foundation, which are some pretty big shoes to fill.

We were glad to see Stacy Hershey and her husband, who returned this year as participants. They did however introduce us to the new task force leaders: Greg and Denise Barrels. We look forward to working with them in the future.

The County and City escorted the ride, and for the first time we can remember; the state troopers were not part of the lineup of escorts. However, the escorts who were there seemed happy to be there, and excited about their “track time.”

The ride went off without a hitch. There was no rain anywhere around; not even a wet road. This meant everyone would get a couple of laps in on the track before heading in for lunch with the kids. This year there were BBQ sandwiches from Rusty’s BBQ in Leeds, as well as chips, cookies, and cold drinks.

Local weatherman Brian Peters was back this year to conduct the interviews with the stars of the day. There were a few more stars added this year, as there have been new families added to the group.

The stars on stage were: Zack, Jermain, Kamaria, Faith, Matt, Shelby, Miss. Bayleigh, Karissa, Lilli, and Miss Molly.

We enjoyed meeting the new families, and it’s heartwarming watching the regular’s blossom and grow over the years into these inspiringly wonderful young individuals.

We were all brought to tears as Bayleigh honored her grandfather for his years of support. You could tell he was not expecting that. All of his hard work raising money and supporting Bayleigh in her life endeavors just comes natural, from the heart.

Diann Horsley was this year’s winner of the new Honda motorcycle that Honda puts up as part of their sponsorship of this ride nation wide.

The event brought in $56,001.