Sunday, September 23, 2007

Charity Ride For Benjie King

Yesterday, I rode up to Thomasville, GA to participate in a ride for cancer victim Benjie King. This was the first organized ride into this part of Georgia that I've been on, and it was refreshing to say the least. My good friend, RC, has already posted a story on this ride here.

It was a beautiful day, with of course, our wonderful (not!) friends, the "love-bugs" ever present, to keep things lively, and to remind us not to display and toothy grins while riding.

Ride Tip #1: When riding in a large group during "love-bug"
season, be sure to place yourself somewhere in the back. This provides many
targets ahead of you for the "love-bugs" to hit before you arrive at the same
spot in the road.

All in all, I only have several red spots on my lower face, and two knuckles, that encountered flying fornicating bugs. Fortunately, I have a windshield on my bike, and that, combined with my helmet visor and sunglasses, served as pretty good protection.

Ride Tip #2: When riding during "love-bug" season, make sure you remove the little buggers from your bike within 24 hours, or they will leave pits in your paint and chrome. Apparently all that "love-juice" is caustic stuff!
Now on to more serious things.

This ride went extremely well, considering the large number of riders and the distance the majority rode; from Tifton, GA (Harley Davidson dealership), to a home somewhere northwest of Thomasville where the end party awaited. Why did this go so well for all of us?

Shortly after leaving Tifton, three Georgia police cruisers arrived, lights blazing, and we were escorted nearly all the way to our destination. With an estimated 75+ riders, this was welcomed with open arms, and very much appreciated. Thank you Georgia law enforcement! Three cheers to you, from all riders, and especially our small group from Tallahassee!

These Georgia public servants took 45 minutes from their day and provided us with safety and brought our noble effort to the attention of those out in their cars this day. As we rode by, many of them got out of their cars and saluted us. Thank you Georgia residents!

In addition to the police cruisers, several riders from the group rode on ahead (very well planned out!) and blocked side roads. With the police cruisers blocking major intersections and riders blocking smaller intersections, we rode without a hitch, en mass, to our destination.

On the "dark side", the "the force" is not with us in Tallahassee. Florida law enforcement, in particular, Lean County, take notice. Why is it that riders in Tallahassee have no support from YOU??? Is it just "lip service" we're getting from you during Motorcycle Awareness week? Do you not recognize the charitable efforts from very large motorcycle organizations in Florida's panhandle? What gives?

Would it be so hard on you to provide some support to large motorcycle runs in Leon County? We are citizens too, and motorcycles especially need protection on our roads. For all appearances, this support is extended during Motorcycle Awareness week (or is it?), but the rest of the year, we are second class citizens?

WE live here year round, legislators and politicians do not. Yet they are afforded major police escort when in town, in spite of the fact that they bring their own protective entourage.

I hereby challenge Leon County law enforcement to show support of motorcyclists beyond the "lip service". We are residents deserving of your services too. We would not hesitate to support you if called upon.

To all those who organized the Benjie King charity run, KUDOS to you! Well done. Ride long, ride free (well sort of, given Georgia's helmet law). I'll be back to ride with you again!

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