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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How to Have a Motorcycle Run in the Rain/Cold/Sleet

Saturday, October 6 was the scheduled date for the 2012 Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. Hosted by the Mountain Shadow Riders, the Colorado Springs Chapter of Women on Wheels®. This is a big ride in our community and all proceeds raised is donated to the local Komen affiliate to help local people diagnosed with breast cancer.

It's a big deal.

Ever since I can remember, the event has always had beautiful weather. Last year, I think was the ideal; temperatures hovering around 80 degrees and sunny skies.

This year, it wasn't meant to be.

About two weeks before the run, the chapter starts watching the weather. This year, things were no different. The 10 day forecast wasn't too bad and the current temps were just as gorgeous as the year before. As the days crept closer to the event, the news was not good. A front was forecasted to roll in and with it--cold and rain. This being Colorado, we knew that the forecast was more wrong than right, so while we worried and started talking about a contingency plan, we also knew that the ride still had a chance to happen in great weather.

Unfortunately, by Friday, we knew that the weather would be uncooperative. Friday night, it started drizzling and we knew that the higher elevations would have a problem with freezing rain. By 2 am, the ride coordinator knew it would be too dangerous for riders in the community as well as participants to be out in motorcycles--and frankly, I would choose not to ride.

However, all was not lost. Historically, the ride was a "test your memory" ride. Riders would ride a segment of the designated route and then answer questions on selected items that they passed while riding. I typically was lucky to get one of the questions correct--so I knew that I would more than likely not have a chance of winning.

This year, the chapter decided to change the event. We would have carnival games at each stop and particpants would have the opportunity to win tickets. The tickets would then go into a hopper. Once all the stops closed and tickets were in, three tickets would be drawn and they would win the prize money.

At 5:30 am, the call went out...there would be no ride. Instead, the chapter would host the carnival games at the end venue, Stargazers. Instead of a "poker ride" there would be a "poker walk" in the safe, warm and dry confines of Stargazers. Each "stop" had a designated area in the auditorium and participants would play on!

Stargazers Theater

The 2011 run had over 600 registered participants and we knew that the weather would affect the numbers. We were correct.

However, all, was not lost. While I don't have the specific numbers, I do know at one point, the registration coordinator announced that the ride had, at that point, over 300 participants!

For a motorcycle event, we were all stunned!

From a event standpoint, this was more than anyone had expected from the motorcycling community. It was wonderful to see the turnout from our fellow riders and supporters.

Thanks to everyone for making the ride a success! Even with the cold and rain, the event had a great attendance and while the official numbers have not been posted, I know that the chapter will be happy. No matter what the amount, there will be a donation from the Mountain Shadow Riders on behalf of the Colorado Springs motorcycling community!

If you have Facebook, you can find additional information and photos at the Mountain Shadow Riders Facebook page as well as the link for event information. In addition, for the first time in a long time--the chapter has T-Shirts remaining, so if you are interested, you can find that information at the Facebook page and get one! Last year, all 500+ shirts sold out in less than a half hour of opening.

The event is that good!

My thanks to the Mountain Shadow Riders, the Event Coordinator, Stargazers, the motorcycling community, and all the businesses and citizens that donated door prizes or passed the word on regarding our run. Without them, the ride would not be a success.

Until next time,

Keep the Shiny Side Up,

~The Rainbow Wahine

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