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Chewin’ the Fat Boy: September, 2016

By Susan Swan

Chewing

Every September it’s my pleasure to rub a bunch of old Elmers’ noses in the fact that they’re still here, still misbehaving, still riding, still managing a healthy to-do list and carving out a schedule sufficient to survive yet another year-in-a life. And it is with great pleasure indeed that I wish happy birthday to: Valeen Nelson (September 18) of Monroe, Washington; Frank Hankins (43) of Tacoma, Washington c/o Big Spring, Texas; Rob Woodey of Sammamish, Washington; Gary Carroll of Renton, Washington; Matt Hobbs (who’s digging around in the kitchen); Ken Acheson a new RVer home-basing out of Arizona with his bride, Joel Johnson of Portland, Oregon; Katie McDonald of Nelson, British Columbia; Mike Peterson of Boise, Idaho; Linda Turner of Missoula, Montana, and Craig Thompson of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Thanks to each of you for staying in touch, and please, let’s do this again in 2017, yes?… It’s been a number of years since attending myself, but the Puget Sound Ride for Kids is one event that galvanizes a community like little else can. Remlinger Farms southeast of Carnation, Washington, will host the event on September 18 at their lush property south of the Tolt River bridge (on Hwy-203) then east E on NE 32nd. The signage is more than adequate to lead riders in. Suggested donation for admittance is for $40 per bike, and unless you ride three-up (harkens back to movie drive-ins with castaway friends in the jalopy’s trunk), that’s not much more than a cheap meal out. The event welcomes riders and non-riders, and avenues to sponsorship of participants. There’s also the opportunity for generous folks who simply want to donate to help the kids. The Puget Sound event is meant to represent all states and region of the broader NW, so it’s a chance for us to unify behind a cause near and dear, even if we can’t ride in ourselves. Look at how easy the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation web page for the Puget Sound Ride for Kids is to navigate, even for the computer challenged among us (and you know who you are). Thanks to supporters, the PBTF has invested $28 million in research of this most deadly cancer that affects children. Those efforts have helped kids and families navigate this very difficult road. The ride is an AMA-sanctioned and AMA- sponsored event and hands down, it really doesn’t get much better than helping sick kids. That website address is: www.rideforkids.org or curethekids.org also works. Email questions to: rideforkids@rideforkids.org or telephone their Ashville, NC headquarters at 800.253.6530. Registration on the day of ride (September 18) will be held from 8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m. with take-off at 10:00 a.m… The champions of Josephine County, the ABATE of Oregon Josephine County Chapter is once again putting on an event benefiting young people in that most scenic county. It’s the 13th annual Grants Pass Toy Run, mentioned here in the September column because it comes up too darned early in October to make mention later. So on Saturday, October 1, riders will meet up at the Fruitdale Grange at 1440 Parkdale in Grants Pass. There’s some exceptional community spirit in the Josephine chapter and a direct correlation between local kids knowing so many people put the kid’s needs first, and the trajectory of how things unfold going forward. Pretty admirable and always fun to shine a light there. Contact email is freeflitterfly@msn.com and info number is 541.660.8730 (that’s Karen) or Spanky’s number is 541.659.8715. Staging at the grange is at 1:00 p.m. with the ride through Grants Pass at 1:30 p.m. Then return to the grange for a community potluck, silent auction and games. Might want to decorate your bike, road co-captains are Santa and Mrs. Claus. Admission is a new unwrapped toy and if you can swing it, some side dish or bread to break together, and the Josephine County Chapter will provide burgers and chicken. Such a deal!

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