Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Motorcyclists Ride for Children Christmas Toys

If during the month of December you happen to be walking or driving on a local street and see a police-escorted parade with what may appear to be thousands of motorcycles, typically on a Saturday or Sunday, wave to them and cheer them on. My bet would be that what you are seeing is what is usually called “A Christmas Toy Ride.” On such occasions, motorcyclists show up at a prescribed time and specified place – with a wrapped child’s toy. Then all of the riders take off for a ride, usually returning to where they had started for food, libation and good conversation. The important thing is that the collected toys are distributed to children in the local area – children who, because of economic/social conditions, otherwise may not get anything (or hardly anything) for Christmas. Among other things, such as a lot of fun, it is a heart-warming experience for all involved.

Sometimes local motorcycle clubs organizes such rides. And considering that there are many many motorcycle clubs (for example, there are 114,000 Internet Sites for motorcycle clubs [google.com]), this could translate into many “Christmas Toy Rides.” As well, local governments, restaurants, bars and motorcycle dealerships organize some of these events. Other organizations actively organize or participate as well. For example, in 1983 Harley-Davidson® established the Harley Owners Group® in response to a growing desire by Harley® riders for an organized way to share their passion and show their pride (harley-davidson.com). Today, more than a million members make H.O.G. the largest factory-sponsored motorcycle organization in the world. Again, this adds to the acquisition and distribution of toys to needy children.

I hearken the wonderful old pearl of wisdom, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” (And for the record, you don’t have to have a motorcycle to participate – just show up with a wrapped toy and hang out – trust me: you’ll have a lot of fun and feel good about having done it.)

“Keep the shiny side up!” Bill

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