2010 Toys for Tots ride to Hilo

Posted: December 12, 2010 in Box of bacon
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For this year’s Toys for Tots ride, I came prepared, meaning that I brought along a camera. The turnout seemed smaller than last year, but the weather was nicer and it was great to be out in the sunshine with other bikers.

Noah and I rode unaffiliated this year although at the beginning of the ride we did meet up with Koa Puna for the jaunt to Waimea. KP is the major club of the state with chapters on all of the main islands. They are the quintessential HD club comprised mainly of Boomer aged bikers, that spend lavishly on their bikes. We like riding with KP because they’re a bunch of mellow old dudes that don’t really ride past 80 mph.

The other club that we’ve ridden with are called the Rough Riders. They are all our age or younger and all have sport bikes. They are also maniacs that like to ride at a minimum of 80 mph. Today they invited us to join them but because the last time they did wheelies while riding two abreast down the crappy two lane road that leads to Hilo, we politely declined by taking off from Waimea before them. They did manage to catch up to us but we kept our bikes on the boil and managed to stay just ahead of them.

There were no accidents this year that we could tell, and I didn’t spend nearly as much time dodging dislodged HD parts as I did last time. Also because of the lower turn out, everything moved along quickly.

People line the road all the way from Prince K mall, to 4 mile beach and wave and throw candy as you ride by. It’s very cool. The entire ride is a little over 5 miles. My bike is not unlike any other in that it hates traffic. Luckily I have radiators and cooling fans to help when the temp goes north of 205 degrees. But it still cooks the delicates.

I would guess that there were close to one thousand riders this year, give or take. The hot rods were in effect as was the killer scooter club. We saw a guy in a wheelchair riding a bike. It was like a sidecar, and he controlled the bike with a steering wheel and hand cables. No, I didn’t get any pics of that, sorry.

It was a blast! But I am happy to be home in one piece and out of my wet leathers. The rain did make an appearance on our return trip, right as we got into Honoka’a. It was big ugly rain, the kind that hurts. Needless to say, we were both soaked thoroughly.

These pictures don’t convey the actual feeling of being there, but I tried. I apologize for the crappy stitching that I did for the Walmart parking lot shot, but it works.

If you ride, live in HI and have never done this, I suggest that you do. Riding with hundreds of other bikers is not a feeling that one ever forgets. But I must admit that at the end of it all, I begin to loathe the sound of straight pipes and forty-five degree twins.

Put a muffler on that lump! And cut your damn hair, hippy!



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