In 2005 I did my first Muscular Dystrophy Ride with the Wellington Ulysses and in 2007, a couple of us decided we needed a decent ride, so we orgainised a 1,000Km ride and called it the C1KC (Capital 1,000 Km Cruise). Within a couple of years the C1KC morfed into a fundraising ride for the MDA Ride and now the success of the C1KC (now the 1KC (Nth) & (Sth)) ensures a decent standard of gifts are purchased for the children, as well as making a reasonable donation straight to the MDA.
This is most fortunate as this year the number of children rose to 30...and this after several children from last year fell off the list as we stop seeing them once they have turned 14. I might also note that one unfortunate wee chap died died during the year and this is one of the things that makes this cause and ride special.
There was also another glitch along the way leading up to this year's ride, in that Ron, who has been organising the ride for the past 11 years, took ill (and subsequently died before Christmas). This turned things on their ear because the organisation was half-baked, but a committee pulled together and kept things on track so that on Friday 04 December, 9 riders, 1 pillion and 1 driver departed at 0900 from Brown Owl on a mission.
Friday is a ride up to Napier and this year we had gone from two school visits to five, so the pressure was on. Fortunately, two children were away for the day, so that resulted in stop-'n-goes as well as reducing our lolly requirements by about a kilo per rider! It also meant that we had time for lunch and a refreshment stop at Tikokino before finishing the day with a bar-b-que for the Napier children. Friday is always a bit of a highlight with the distribution of lashings of lollies, masses of hugs, high-fives, low-fives and group-hugs from Santa, songs from the children and Buzz's group song that stumps them everytime.
The programme for Saturday was as per usual with a ride from Napier to Bell Block, with just two children to visit along the way, so it could be deemed as more of a 'Ride Day', with the Napier-Taupo road, Western Lake Road, SH41, the Awakino Gorge and Mt Messenger for us to enjoy. We had a refuel and refreshment stop at Z Tauhara, arrived in Taumarunui just in time to join the Santa Parade, but sanity prevailed and we refrained from making their Santa look bad because ours was riding an ST. The town was really busy, so we made a change of plans and lunched in PioPio.
I was leading into the Awakino Gorge and I had the GoPro fitted, so as I came out of the tunnel I said to Trev (via the Sena) to come through and I would turn the camera on. Well!, he just heard heard “come through”, because that was all he wanted to hear and he just interpretted the rest of the garbled message as, “and go like hell”!?...and I had to try to keep up.
Saturday night was relaxing with us being catered for at the Te Arei Marae and we needed the rest because Sunday was another hectic day where we delivered to children in New Plymouth, Inglewood, along the coast and Whanganui and I finally got home at about 1745.
What a special weekend. Visiting children with Muscular Dystrophy makes one realise that we don't have much to complain about. Seeing the children, some standing, others in wheelchairs eagerly waiting for Santa and his altitudinous, attitudinous elves to turn up on their bikes, then watching them open a gift which Santa knew they really wanted, the bright eyes and beaming smile is heartwarming. Watching a dad hold up his son's arm so he can wave goodbye is enough to bring a tear to an eye and seeing a mum in tears because someone cares about them and has taken the time to bring a gift to their child leaves a lump in a throat, then watching school children mobbing Santa for a group hug is at the other end of the emotional spectrum and is hilarious...and after all that, there's a good ride on good roads with great mates.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.