A Different Kind of Ride: a Ride for Survivors of Sexual Assault.
You’ve read my posts about various unusual rides I’ve been on. This one was more important because it wasn’t about me. It was about survivors of sexual assault and the folks who are helping them at the Northwest Georgia Sexual Assault Center.
Oftentimes bikers can get a bad reputation. Sometimes, it’s deserved, but most often it’s not. It’s usually the remnant of stereotyping in the movies and TV.
One amazing, relatively unknown thing that many bikers do is to raise money for various charities. Here’s how it’s done. A charity is picked or requests help. The event is planned and the route is chosen. Riders will pay a registration fee or make a donation. The group will ride in staggered formation for over an hour, usually with police escort, to some location where they will have drinks, maybe something to eat, sometimes a tee shirt. Often these too are donated, so that most of the money goes straight to the charity. I scanned online to look at the upcoming events list just in Georgia. Throughout the state there are at least two rides each weekend for the near future. The list of benefiting charities was varied: special needs children, juvenile diabetes, community free meals program, wounded veterans, Alzheimers, and ones to help pay for medical operations of loved ones.
Our ride began at the Kmart parking lot. About 40 riders on various bikes: Kawasaki, Harley, Victory and one Boss Hoss sporting a Corvette V8 engine! KSU (Kick stands up-not Kennesaw State University, or Kansas State or) was a little after 11 am. We had a police escort and roads blocked and sailed through the town out towards Summerville and then over to Lake Weiss in Alabama.
It was a bright beautiful ride through lush forests of pines, oaks, mimosa and sugar maples and past fields of corn, and cotton. There were driftwood colored barns with rusting red tin roofs, clothes blowing on the line at yard sales and a man cutting the grass in circles around a Jesus Saves sign.
The set up at Lake Weiss was generous and hospitable: Drinks, burgers, hotdogs and the fixings while the talented Aviva and the Flying Penguins band belted out Honky Tonk Women.
Gunmetal grey clouds signaled a storm to the North but we had blue skies above us and lake water lapping at the shore.
Other non bikers arrived and introductions were made, bikes and trips discussed. A speaker talked briefly about the Sexual assault Center and its work. Checking their website later and looking at things men could do to help one stood out: “Mentor and teach boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Teach boys to respect and value women as equals. Lead by example.” Amen. It was a great ride for a good cause.