Sunday, June 13, 2010

Uraling in the Ride for the Kids, 2010

Today I had the honor to ride in the 2010 Ride for the Kids event put on by the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.  I had been clued in to this event by fellow Uralisti Craig and another one, Dana, met me at the event riding his GS Sidecar rig with a customized sidecar setup.  Dana rode down from Vail, through snow-covered roads to make this event!

At the top of Vail Pass

 As you can see, Dana didn't let a little snow in the mountains stop him from riding down from Vail
Here is GS Rig is approaching the Johnson Tunnel from Silverthorne

Dana's mean looking rig

Dana is going to ride the Trans-Labrador Highway up in Canada very soon and the above rig is the one he's going to do it in.  Looks like he's going to have a blast.

The day dawned with a light rain that would not let up really until the ride was over.  I had been thinking that it was a shame the weather was so wet, it would probably cut down on the number of motorcycle riders that would show up.  I am happy to report that I was very wrong, there were many more motorcyclists than I figured would show up, lots of Honda Goldwings, bikes of other marques and one Ural, Natasha.

At the Jefferson County Health and Human Services parking lot

I arrived shortly before 9:00, having had to turn back to get my spare helmet.  Turns out, I didn't need it, the kids who show up to ride with you bring their own!  I'll know better next time.  Natasha also experienced some "issues" with the heavy wind-driven rain I encountered but a little duct tape covering the holes in the plastic cover next to the coil solved that problem!

Here's some of the sidecar rigs that showed up for the kids to ride in.  There were also an assortment of Trikes ready to be of service as well.  The two-wheeled motorcycles rode in support of the kids, quite remarkable the numbers that turned out, given the wet and windy weather we had.

A Harley Davidson Rig in a lovely fire engine red

Another HD Rig, this one is  light tan/caramel color, very nice

This is close to the Cadillac of sidecar rigs, note the comfortable setup for the monkey!

I was just finishing registering when I heard on the loudspeaker a call for a sidecar rider.  I walked on over and was fortunate to get there first and meet James.  He'd seen the sidecars show up and he'd asked for ride in one.  The original plan was that he would ride in back of his Dad's Triumph America motorcycle but the sidecars lured him away!  : )

Here's James and his parents: Chris and Terry
photo courtesy of Terry

 James, looking ready for his first sidecar ride
photo courtesy of Terry
James is a very polite, soft spoken young man, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball at the tender age of five.  Now seven years later, treatments and such have reduced that tumor to the size of a pea.  I was very impressed with his friendly manner and outward confidence, and of course I liked his taste in motorcycles!

Jefferson County Sheriff's Finest, here to be our escort, on their day off.

Shortly before 10:00 AM, we got our rider's briefing from the PBTF Task Force Leader for Colorado, the Sergeant from the Sheriff's Department and we all went to our motorcycles to start things up.  I got James all settled in and then we waited for a few moments while final preparations were made by the PBTF organizers.

I'd like to mention how well run the event was by the PBTF and the many volunteers who showed up in the dismal wet weather we enjoyed.  This event was one of the smoother running events I've been to in my short career as a motorcyclist.   Bravo Zulu, PBTF, job well done!   (Yes, I know I'm a former Army guy but all we've got to announce a job well done is Hoooah!)

We rode off, sidecars and trikes led off, and we got on CO 93 heading north.  The Sheriff Deputies running escorts would race ahead and block intersections, allowing all of us to ride on through without stopping.  It was a quite novel feeling, crossing against a red light not once but many times.  The rain continued to pelt us as we rode along but it didn't matter since we were riding and doing something for the kids.  My compliments to the Jefferson County Sheriff Deputies that ran escort today, great job!

Due to the wet weather conditions, the original route which involved mountains was scrubbed and a new route was planned and executed.  We rode on CO93 to CO128, turning east at that point until we reached Indiana Avenue.  We took Indiana south, along rolling hills and plains.  The rain clouds formed a foggy top cover to the ridges to either side of us as we rode along, quite scenic.  No chance to stop for pics of course, we were in convoy!

Eventually, we turned west onto CO72 and headed back towards CO93.  Turning south on CO93 we soon came to our starting point and regretfully the end of the ride.  James and I shook hands after I parked Natasha, he was all smiles and I am told enjoyed the ride very much.  

We all then got a sack lunch courtesy of one of the ride sponsors: Jim and Nick's BBQ, it was delicious.  As we ate, the PBTF folks told us about the efforts of the foundation, introduced us to some of the top fund-raisers both private and companies and finally to the kids who were the object of today's ride.  James and five other youngsters sat at the stage and were given a chance to say a few words.  One of the kids even rode his own motorcycle for this event, the organizer seemed to think this was a first!

The kids we rode for today
photo courtesy of Terry

I am happy to report, even with the lower than expected turnout due to the weather, this event raised $46,801!  Outstanding.  There was a drawing at the end for some sponsor-donated prizes.  The winner of the grand prize, a Honda Rebel 250 Motorcycle is pictured below:

The happy grand prize winner

The formal part of the event over, everyone pitched in to help fold up and put away the gear/chairs that had been set out.  Afterward, as the kids and top ranking donors were having their pictures taken, I took this shot of Terry's Triumph America motorcycle, his wife Chris rides a Harley Davidson somewhat to his chagrin but it's all good.  

Chris watches Terry pack stuff away on his Triumph
Chris and Terry are James' parents.

You might remember this hardcore rider, he'd been one of the riders on the Elephant Ride.
Note his license plate.

People started leaving at this point as you can see above and I made sure to get a group picture of James and his parents:

Chris, James and Terry - originally from Australia, they been all over the world.  I believe Bulgaria was their previous home prior to moving to Colorado.  Terry works in the gold mining industry as a consulting geologist and he goes where the work is.

I said my goodbyes and left the event with hopes of riding with James again next year at the 2011 iteration of this Ride for the Kids.  I gave Terry my card and will try and keep in touch with them till then. Who knows, perhaps I can talk James into joining the Uralisti on rides whenever my own sons elect not to come along.

A great ride, if a bit soggy.  I rode home using the C-470/E-470 slabs as I wanted to make good time and didn't want to make too many stops on the way home.  The sight of the cloud covered ridges along C-470 just south of Golden though, made me stop for this picture.

That's Dinosaur Ridge on the right, with the foothills stretching out to the horizon

I made it home in good time with no incident, Natasha did great today despite the initial issues with rain getting to her ignition coil.  My riding gear kept me mostly dry, have to work on that.  I am glad I brought the ATV grip covers today, though they got water soaked, they kept the wind off my hands and I was able ride with just summer gloves on.  I don't think the temperature got above 50°F, that and the rain and wind, speaks volumes of my fellow motorcyclists who showed up to participate and support this Ride for the Kids, a tip of the helmet to all who showed up!


Keith said...

Is Dean's sidecar a custom made. It reminds me a little of the link you had to the company that was developing a sidecar storage unit.

Charlie6 said...

Hello Keith

definitely custom, I believe it's just a standard ural sidecar subframe onto which he mounted a truck's toolbox.

20fingers20toes said...

Hi! Christine from AeroFlow, Corp. here. While reading about your adventures we came across the photos of Dana's bike with our Fairing on it - awesome! Would you mind if we used the photos on our website, with full credit and a link of course. Please let me know!
Thank you & Ride Safe!

20fingers20toes said...

Hi! Christine from AeroFlow, Corp. here. While reading about your adventures we came across the photos of Dana's bike with our Fairing on it - awesome! Would you mind if we used the photos on our website, with full credit and a link of course. Please let me know!
Thank you & Ride Safe!

Charlie6 said...

Hi Christine

Fine by me, but don't you want to contact Dana directly? If so, please post contact email here.