Rides, Rallies and Events Recap
Lynn Reynolds and Leigh Lilly

Lynn Reynolds and Leigh Lilly

Nine years ago on August 10, 2006, Larry “Mad Dog” Rogers lost his battle with cancer, and the rest of us lost one of the sweetest men you’d have ever wanted to meet. It was a very sad time at Rider’s Harley-Davidson where “Dog” was the parts manager for 16 years. Everyone loved him. He made all of his customers feel like he was there just for them, and that what they wanted or needed was important to him.

On September 4, 2014 it became official: The KRAVE Group, led by three-time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey, had taken over the promotional and management rights for AMA Road Racing in North America, through it’s newly formed MotoAmerica Series. Then, just over seven months later, the series made its debut at Circuit of the Americas in conjunction with the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. Now it readies for its fifth round at Barbers Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama.

If you’re a fan of the classics, the “Old Guys,” you would have loved this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. If you were part of the 70 something thousand people who were there, you know what I’m talking about.

About 100 bikes gathered at Rider’s Harley-Davidson on Saturday, September 20 for the 5th Annual Ride for the Burkett Center in Morris, Alabama. This wonderful event is sponsored by the Burkett Center P.T.A and assisted by the C.H.R.O.M.E Cross Cruisers.

It was a beautiful, bright, crisp Sunday morning on September the 21, 2014, as hundreds of bikes rolled into the Barber Motorsports Park in anticipation of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundations “Ride for Kids” event in Alabama.

For over 30 years, the King’s Ranch and Hannah Homes have been home to hundreds of young people, women and children seeking refuge, hope and help from abuse, neglect, abandonment, homelessness, and other difficult circumstances. They also provide residential group home services in eighteen Christ-centered homes, located in three different counties, teaching the necessary skills and providing tangible services to help the residents heal from their devastating past, breaking the cycle of abuse, building healthy relationships and helping them to become independent, productive members of society.

We heard the thunder as thousands of bikes rolled into Barber Motorsports Park on June 21, 2014 for the first 2-day weekend event of the 2014 Pro Road Racing season, featuring with the Triumph AMA Superbike Classic.

There was no practice, racing or anything on Friday, which was a little strange, and meant that everything would be squeezed into Saturday and Sunday. It was beautiful, but very hot, so it was probably a good thing it was shortened.

In May, the Faith Riders Motorcycle Ministry of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Leeds, Alabama, hosted the 3rd annual fundraiser ride in honor of Pastor Billy Abrams granddaughter Lyla. Layla has endured many medical issues from birth, and as a result, ultimately visited various Children’s Hospitals, which left her parents in need of a place to stay so they could be near their child during treatments. This is where the Ronald McDonald house stepped in to help, and for whom this ride is benefiting.

What a beautiful day for a ride! On Saturday, August 10, riders gathered at Rider’s Harley-Davidson in Trussville, Alabama to start rolling dice and registering for the 8th annual ride benefiting the King’s Ranch, which is home for so many kids out there who have been dealt a crappy hand in life.

Many people feel sorry for the kids who live here, but I also feel so very sorry for what they have had to live through before coming here. These kids aren’t wired to be this way; they are conditioned to be this way, and through no fault of their own. They are in need of a loving, structured home. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be born into a home whose parents aren’t drug addicts or abusive, who doesn’t really want and deserve kids. So the ranch has been set up to serve that need and to step in and offer a HOME environment with loving parents.

They come to the ranch to live in 1 of the 18 homes on the property, in a family setting, where their medical, educational and life lessons are met. They come away from here with a very enriching experience, but most of all, there is no doubt that they are loved.

It’s easy to see why these bikers are motivated each year to be a part of this ride, and the $50 the high hand receives at each stop, might help just a little bit. So instead of doing the typical poker run, we’re rolling dice on this ride.

After rocking and rolling at Rider’s, it was time to “let it ride” on over to Barbers Motorsports Park for the second roll. By now, although it’s still beautiful out, most everyone was starting to “leak” as the sun was climbing higher. Part of the group decided to leave early, and I think they just wanted to be “in the wind.”

Leaving Barber’s, the group headed over to Hooter’s on Hwy. 280 for the last stop before going on to the Ranch. Here, the ride grew by several really cool, fast rides. A couple of Lamborghini’s, a couple of Ferrari’s, a new Porsche and Mercedes joined the ride; how sick! Everyone was drooling over the cars, and I don’t know how they got out of the parking lot without a paddle, towel or something, LOL!

We also picked up Emory and a few of his friends, who took over the escort for this ride. Thanks guys for making it a safe one. So with the “Hot-Rod’s” in tow, it was off to the ranch. What is so awesome is when we pulled onto the road leading up to the big house. Everybody and their brother (ha! ha!) were lined up both sides of the road, and were cheering for the bikes as they rolled in, and the bikers responded by revving their engines and honking their horns; it was so cool!

After the warm welcome, it was time to eat some pizza and Hooters hot wings, give away a “butt-load” of gift certificates, and announce the winners from the ride, which also meant giving away some money. The high roll winners at each stop got $50. At the end of the ride, the low roll winner received $150, and the overall high roll winner received $250. As it turns out, the winner from the first roll also turned out to also be the overall high roll winner who had left early, but left word to just donate back what he had won, if anything. How cool was that? With this donation, they had to change the amount on the big check, which took the overall amount raised to over $20,000! I love it! Just think what might be achieved if this ride were to be multiplied by hundreds!

At the end of the day, we got to meet the director Lew Burdette, whose life experiences allow him to relate and connect with these kids. You can see within just a few minutes of talking with Lew, that this is a labor of love for him. He told us they had just acquired the house adjacent to them; adding to their “Ponderosa.” Yeah! This is breathtaking to see.

We also met a young man named Chris, who told us how he was adopted at 15-months by people who were abusive, and had no business adopting a living breathing being in the first place, but don’t get me started. Thankfully, his aunt and uncle came and get him, and things were going well until he walked in and found his aunt dead from a gun shot wound to her head and his uncle holding a shotgun and pushing him into the closet where he heard the gun go off. If anyone was in need of a home to go home to, it was Chris.

Needless to say, he was a little mixed up, bitter and confused when he arrived at the ranch, which proves once again, it’s not how he’s wired, but rather how he was conditioned. After two and a half years of living in a normal, nurturing home environment, he was able to stand up in front of all these people; a well adjusted, happy, courageous young man, who was willing to share his life story with us. Chris has chosen to remain at the ranch in an apartment-style living situation so he could continue on to college, with the full support of the ranch, who is there for him like good parents would be.

We loved our visit with everyone, and thank God for the King’s Ranch and the extended family who make all this happen. All the kids were just awesome, and every one of them will no doubt go on to do great things. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

And to Shay and her posse, you guys all deserve a big HUG. Ya’ll worked your butts off, which is very much appreciated. Great job guys!

Lead photo provided by Scott with SnapsterFoto.com.

I’m convinced that God and Mother Nature get together and set the most beautiful day for the Ride For Kid’s every year. Here it is, Sunday, September 8, and what an absolute gorgeous day, as hundreds of bike’s gather at Barber Motorsports Park to raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

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