Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

11th Annual Ride for Kids - Birmingham, Alabama

Written by  October 1, 2012

Sunday, September 9 was an absolutely gorgeous day for a ride as hundreds of bikers rolled into the Barber Motorsports Park for the 11th annual “Ride for Kids” benefiting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.




This is without a doubt our favorite event to do each year, and I think this was our seventh year. We just get more and more invested as time goes on.



This is the ONLY benefit that we do that actually has a few of the benefactors riding with us. We get to meet them and get to know them and their families, and we share in their triumphs as well as their losses.



By the time we rolled up Sunday morning the dew was still glistening on the grass, the clowns were already in action painting faces and making balloons for the kids, the escorts were lined up, and so too were the State Troopers, and Jefferson County escorts for the ride, who were at the head of the line-up. All the volunteers were in place, registering and coordinating folks. It takes a small army of volunteers to pull that off; luckily, they have just that, which seems to make everything flow quite nicely.



After a brief thank you, safety meeting and prayer, it was time to turn these kids into bikers for a day. Everyone got safety ready and mounted up and headed out for about an hour-long escorted ride through the countryside, then back to Barbers where the kids got off and watched from the hillside as the bikers took to the track for a few laps.



A short time before the ride made it back to the track, there was a visitor in the form of a deer who jumped the fence and ran from one end of the track to the other then jumped the spectator fence to let itself out. The track was rented for the weekend for Sportbike Track Time, and they allow the “Ride For Kids” event to share in their track time while they are off the track for a lunch break, so there were bikes running wide open out there not long before the deer got on the track. Could you imagine being out there on a bike and having that jump out in front of you?



By the time the end of the group made it onto the track, the people at the front had already made their way around and had to stop and let everyone finish getting onto the track before they could continue. As a result, by the time they made it around the track again, the lead bikes headed off the track. When the rest of the group made their way around the first time, they saw the lead bikes heading off the track, so they followed them, which meant that not everyone got to do two laps. But what could you do; there was no way to stop them.



From there it was time for lunch, which is provided for the riders (sandwiches were from Subway, cookies from Bud’s Best Cookies) along with the doughnuts that were there for them that morning. They take very good care of us.



After lunch it was time to award the prizes, like the brand new Honda that was one of 41 that Honda donated for them to give away this year as part of their major sponsorship of this event. The gentleman who won was Mr. Kim Nichols (who was wearing a Kawasaki T-Shirt--Ha! Ha!). This was Mr. Nichols’ first time to make this ride; what-cha-wanna-bet he’ll be back?



Our local Harley shop came in second for dealership-raised funds--very nice since this is the first year they have gotten involved. Hopefully they will remain a part of this ride each year to come. Mr. Butch Fairfield was there to represent the Harley people.



Mr. Bill Smith took the prize he won and raffled it off and added that money to the monies raised. He does that every year, even the year HE won the Honda motorcycle. He has a heart as big as Alabama, along with our friend Stacy, who devotes so much of her time to this one event, and she does a damn good job of it too!



Then it was time to interview the stars of the day--the kids. We learn a lot from them each year, and look forward to hearing from them and how they have been and what exciting things they have done, and you see how much they just enjoy life. The world could learn a big lesson from these kids. We saw that Miss Bailey had a thick head of hair she was proudly sporting around this year.



We learned from Miss Avery’s mom that we have to make the most of the time we have on this earth, each day, because we aren’t promised tomorrow, so we might need to rearrange our priorities! And we also learned the importance of each of these people at this event from the task leaders, to the volunteers, sponsors, and of course the riders.



Together with the efforts of the different groups, dealerships, and riders throughout the year, they raised over $71,000 to donate to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, which is wonderful!



A big thanks to Barber Motorsports who really take such good care of this whole event, and really seem to appreciate and enjoy having everyone there.



We enjoy this ride and look forward to it every year, and I can’t help but believe that the other states in the country who also have these “Ride For Kids” events feel the same way. We would like to invite someone from each of the other states to send us a story with pictures from your “Ride for Kids” event. Let us publish them in our magazine to share with the rest of the country. If you or someone you know is interested in doing so, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We would love to hear from you.



And a Big “Thank-You” to the ones who have already written to let me know they enjoyed our stories.



Roll-Tide!



By Lynn Reynolds and

Leigh Lilly