Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

15th Annual Ride for Ryan - St. Joseph, Missouri

Written by  June 17, 2017

On August 11, 2002, tragedy struck when 24-year-old Ryan Consolver lost his life in a motorcycle accident in Kansas City. As Ryan’s birthday approached the following June, his family wanted to do something special in Ryan’s memory. They came up with the idea of a charity ride. Since Ryan loved motorcycles, and parties, it seemed a perfect way to honor him. Since Ryan had chosen to pursue a career in the construction business, money raised by the ride would be used to provide scholarships for young people to further their education in the fields of construction and engineering.

There were 302 participants in that first ride, and the first of many scholarships was awarded. The Ride for Ryan has been held every year since, and it has been a very successful 15-year run, raising over $203,000 for the scholarship fund. Around 400 registered for this year’s ride, more than $35,000 was raised for the scholarships, and 31 scholarships were granted.

A pre-ride party took place in St. Joseph on June 2 with the 15th Annual Ride for Ryan following the next day. Registration at St. Joe Harley-Davidson began at 11:00 for those who had not already pre-registered. There were free hot dogs, and music was provided by the Blake Camp Band. Prior to the opening ceremonies, there were many photo opportunities with volunteers past and present and the Consolver family. The program began with the singing of the National Anthem and a prayer by a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Janis Consolver, Ryan’s mom, introduced several of the scholarship recipients who were in attendance. Awards for ride support were presented to St. Joseph Harley-Davidson and to the Pony Express HOG Chapter. After a safety briefing, everyone mounted up for the ride. Colorful balloons that had been attached to the handlebars were released on cue just before the riders set out on the route at around 3 p.m. The route passed through Amazonia on the way to Savannah where there was a break, and bikes filled the town square. Some enjoyed a pizza lunch, and others found shady places to relax and visit with friends. The final leg of the ride ended at Coleman Hawkins Park in Felix Street Square. Providing traffic control for the ride were the St. Joseph Police Department and Fire Department, Missouri Highway Patrol, Buchanan and Andrew County Sheriff's Offices, and Savannah Police Department.  Swift Kick entertained the crowd with great music from the gazebo, and OxyMoron performed later at Ground Round.

At the end of last year’s event, the Consolvers announced that the 15th Annual Ride for Ryan would be the grand finale for the event. Those who wish to continue the tradition of riding in Ryan’s memory are welcome to join the family and ride on the first Saturday in June each year, and free-will donations will be collected for the scholarship fund. Scholarships will continue to be awarded until the fund is exhausted.  

On Ryan's 50th birthday in 11 years, the family will open a time capsule. Janis said the responsibility of the capsule has been accepted by her granddaughter, Taylor, who is now 9 years old. The capsule will contain many objects commemorating the hugely successful 15-year run for the Ride for Ryan as well as Ryan’s life. On the day of the ride, the contents were still being gathered.

Janis said, "We're just so honored that we could take our tragedy and turn it into something so positive for the community," On behalf of Ryan’s father Rick and the rest of the family, Janis expressed gratitude for all of the hard-working volunteers through the years and all of the bikers, businesses, law-enforcement escorts, and supporters who have contributed to the amazing success of the event.


Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com