Ride for the Cure: A blast-and-a-half for a great cause

by on October 24, 2008
in Events

Hey Biker Chicks, have you had your mammogram yet? October, as you know, is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and every woman over 40 should have this annual exam. Mine came back normal, but there are two women in my life who have either survived it, or are currently battling it. It’s a concern for every woman, regardless of age, family history or background.

One of the largest benefits this year (if not THE largest) was Ride for the Cure, benefitting breast cancer research. Ride for the Cure was held October 4 and in Iowa it consisted of several ride routes all converging on the Iowa Speedway in Newton, where thousands of riders gathered and got to blast around the track. The Des Moines group took off from Big Barn HD; Carole, aka Pinky, attended and shared TONS of photos. Here’s what she told me:

Hey, Janet, I just wanted to let you know that the first annual Ride for the Cure was a tremendous success!  As soon as the final totals come in I will let you know what was raised but as for turnout there were 1200 registrants at the Newton Speedway alone!  A group of 330 bikes left Big Barn Harley Davidson being escorted by the Sheriff’s department to Newton.  Other riders left from other dealerships across the state to meet us there.  When we arrived at the speedway everyone had the opportunity to ride around the lap which was invigorating to say the least!  I wasn’t able to make the pitstop to the winery but heard it was really great too.  Everyone converged at the Val Air ballroom for the big nightcap with a great dinner, silent auction, live auction, and a live band which rocked!  I encourage everyone to plan on registering for next year’s event which will be bigger and better (if that is possible)!!

The photo above and this Flickr album tell the whole story – if you have pictures or stories to share from this ride, please hit the “Comments” link and tell us about it!


Final opp to support ABATE 2008 Toy Run, this Sunday 10/19!

by on October 17, 2008
in Events

Well this was a good week, because I learned something! In my previous post about the 2008 ABATE District 4 Toy Run, I said that the event was a benefit for the Toys for Tots Program. That’s actually incorrect. Here’s the real scoop, and an opportunity in case you missed the run this year:

Laura from ABATE District 4 tells me that although the event in the past has donated the toys to Toys for Tots, these days the group sorts and distrubutes the toys themselves for needy families throughout Polk, Dallas and Warren Counties. And that’s the opportunity – ABATE District 4 will meet this Sunday, October 19, at the Waveland Fairgrounds Cafe, 304 E. 30th in Des Moines, at 2 p.m. and will be able to collect toys at that time if you would still like to donate.  Thanks, Laura, for the corrected info!


Toy Run 2008

by on October 13, 2008
in Iowa Rides

Well as you know it has been a long and difficult summer for this biker chick – but, we did make sure to take part in the 2008 Toys for Tots Toy Run sponsored by ABATE District 4 here in Des Moines. The ride was held October 12.

Last year, cold/rainy weather kept a lot of folks away from this event – but this year, it was a beautiful if slightly overcast Sunday. I keep saying I’m not a good judge when it comes to estimating crowds, but there HAD to be 2,000 bikes at this thing. At one point when the group was traveling down E. 14th St., there were three entire columns – two in the left lane and one in the right – as far ahead and behind me as I could see.

We traveled from the State Capitol down E. 14th to Army Post Road, then simply turned into the Eagles Lodge just south of Army Post. It was an easy ride – the hardest part is always at the beginning, when the entire group leaves the Capitol and tries to get into formation.

The neatest thing about the ride, other than the sheer size of it, is that it’s escorted by the Des Moines Police Department – they block every stoplight intersection along the route to allow the column to remain intact for the duration of the ride. And of course, the donation of a toy to the Toys for Tots program created by the US Marine Corps makes you feel like you’re riding for a good reason.

As for me, it was great to be out on the bike again. This wasn’t the kind of cruise that clears your head – too big a crowd for that – but it was great to meet up with folks we hadn’t seen for most of the summer. Our daughter even went along for the ride, and she’s almost 15 – much too cool to be hanging out with her parents, so we were honored that she joined us!