My Life Has Been Forever Changed (Pat Carpenter)
The 4th of May of this year 14 riders headed west from Columbus, Georgia and they had 4 tag along riders. This year it was a privilege that 4 of us previous riders were able to spend the 1st few days with the guys out on the road. We rode with the guys out to Amarillo, Texas. That had us riding the states of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. We also picked up Tennessee on the way home. Now what we cannot even be compared to what the 14 riders did. To get on your motorcycle and ride 21 straight days riding on average of 450 miles per day is an undertaking that most folks could not do. If anyone thinks these guys were on a vacation, let me assure you that they were not.
If you ask any of the guys that had been on the ride before what was the best part or most memorable part of the ride, they will tell you, the hospital visits. This year I got to do 2 visits with the guys. Amarillo was a great visit even though I didn’t get to take Daniel for his ride. He was the young guy that we met there last year that was going through chemo and we promised him if he would get better that we would take him for a ride. The ride didn’t matter because he is doing so well now that he is back in school. The second visit was in Greenville, SC. I rode up and met the guys there on their last night out so they let us do the last visit with them. Just sharing that visit with the guys was such an honor. It was the last day on the road and even though we had not been with them since Amarillo they included us and made us feel like we belonged with them.
Now once you have done this ride the guys you have shared this experience with become more than friends. We all share a common bond of doing something only a hand full of people can claim to have done. It was such an honor for me to ride in behind these guys on the home leg. Even though I have done the ride before I still had to stand in awe of what they had just accomplished. The biggest thing is that we all did the ride for something that was bigger than us or even the ride itself, the kids.
My life has been changed forever by the years I have been on and supporting this ride. I will be forever a supporter of The Children’s Miracle Network in everything they do.
Until next year, and yes my plans are to make the entire ride next year.