Almost a year ago, I wrote a piece about why I participate in two Ride for Kids® events every year (see http://plainfield.patch.com/blog_posts/for-personal-reasons). Now that summer has returned — with a vengeance — my kids and I are once again preparing to do our part to support the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
This will be a very special year for us on two counts. First, this will be the 10th consecutive year that my daughter Teresa and I have been raising money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation by participating in the Chicagoland event. We began in 2003 — the year I bought my first motorcycle — and have never given thought to stopping.
Second, this will be my son John's first time at the Wisconsin event as a rider instead of a passenger. Earlier this year, he and his sister became co-owners of a 1994 Kawasaki and on the day of that acquisition, John began making plans for our annual overnighter ride to Middleton. He has participated as a passenger since 2005 and is really looking forward to this year's ride.
Any individuals or local businesses wishing to assist our efforts with a contribution may do so online. The easiest way to make a donation is by visiting either (or both) of our FirstGiving pages.
Donations to both of the above-named events go to the same place — the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Ergo, it is not necessary to donate to both rides, though many of our friends do exactly that. All donations are secure and sent directly to Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation by FirstGiving, who will email you a printable record of your donation.
Another substantial way to help our efforts is to share our fundraising pages with your friends, family, business owners and anyone else who might make a donation. Your assistance in this regard is greatly appreciated.
I have mixed feelings about my son riding his own motorcycle instead of riding as my passenger. Admitting that he possesses the necessary training and skills to safely maneuver his own machine is part of the challenge. Fighting the urge to fall into hypocrisy, by trying to prevent my son from pursuing the same passion I had since my childhood, is another. Then again, there is a sense of pride that comes from sharing my favorite hobby with both of my kids in such a hands-on fashion.
If any of you fellow Patch readers are motorcyclist parents, I would love to hear your own philosophy on letting your kids learn to ride — or not. I welcome your comments. And if any of you are interested in joining a Ride for Kids® event as a participant, I would be happy to share links to rider information.