Sunday, August 16, 2015

~ 6th Annual John Paul Magao Motorcycle Ride ~

Bikers listen to organizer James Phillip Wilfong

When my biker friend Dennis Reneau called me, his request was simple.  "There is a ride coming up that will support a fellow solider, can you make it?"  Dennis doesn't call often, so I listen.  Apparently, the father, a fellow solider, lost his son in a bike accident and he is raising scholarship funds for others in his memory.  It is called the John Paul [Magao] Memorial Foundation.  Dennis served with this man in the Army, and both are true blue American soldiers.  "I'm in Dennis" I tell him. 

James Phillip Wilfong describes the purpose of today's ride
I'm not a big fan of organized bike rides but when a good cause is there, I'm ready.

It is evident to me that this is not their first such bike ride in memory of John Paul Magao.  Impressive.  Their organization impresses me.  There are words of appreciation, love, thanks, and safety.  I do not know any of the people here, other than Dennis.  I do however feel the energy that they have for this memorial ride. 

Our collective donations are going towards a good cause, and riding with my friend Dennis is special.  The official web site is  

Robert Griego, our 1st rest stop
The bike ride is through the foothills near Woodlake and some country roads that I have never been on.  Easy going riding.  There must be a hundred bikers.  We stop by the Woodlake Airport, actually a small landing strip for a break.  

Dennis is one of the first to join 100,000 mile club, a feat not experienced by many bikers.  

I hope to do the same some day, but not today.

By most accounts, this is a short ride, about 150 miles.  We end back where we started and are greeted by music and a catered lunch.  There are raffle prizes and high energy as we finish this ride.  

Dennis Reneau and Ruben Reyes support the ride
It is obvious to me that many of these bikers have done this before.  I can not say that I knew John Paul but I proudly wear the T-shirt in his memory.  

These pictures tell only a part of his story.  I'm sure there will be more bike rides in his honor...........

Robert Griego and Dennis Reneau, Woodlake Airport

Rest stop, Woodlake Airport

End of the ride at Plaza Park, Visalia

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