River Harley-Davidson in Texarkana. Local riders are raising money and
organizing a Pink Ride for Smith, a breast cancer survivor.
As a cancer survivor, my life has changed some. While I’m presently cancer free, the lingering, nagging question of “what caused it” is still with me. I now stop and think about things I used to take for granted. Sometimes I pause while in the past I would have charged ahead. I rarely worried about carcinogens or contaminates before. I was quick to touch chemicals and slow to grab a respirator. Not so any more.
And events that would have never registered with me before now catch my attention. The Pink Ride this coming weekend is a good example. Last year this breezed by under my radar, even as it raised $4,000 for a local breast cancer survivor. This year it caught my attention.
This is a local event organized by Diana Rains to help her friend Amy Quinn Smith. Whisky River Harley-Davidson, which sponsored the event last year, is sponsoring it again this year. There is a police-escorted ride from Whisky River to Dwight’s Bikers Dream in New Boston. The entry fee is $35 for the first rider and $15 for the second. After refreshments at Dwight’s, riders will return to Whisky River where there will be an auction to raise money with products donated from local businesses. There will be food, music, vendors and a breast cancer awareness booth.
One of the things that strike me so much about this event is it was started by a local person, sponsored by a local business and calls on locals to help a local. Diana says she knew just whom to go to for help. The motorcycle community loves to ride for a cause. And she’s right, but that only underscores the sense of family of the biking community. I may ride around on my piece of Jap-Crap while Diana putters around on her Hardley-Ableson, but if one of us needs help, we’re both riders.
Kudos to Diana for starting this, Whisky River for sponsoring it, the local businesses that donated items for the auction and the riders who participate. Because of people and events like this, the term “biker” carries a very different connotation now than it did a half century ago.
－ Guy Wheatley