Today was the BMW Motorcycle Owners of Georgia’s Toy Ride to the Towns County Sheriff’s Office in North Georgia. The club’s Georgia Mountain Rally is held in Hiawassee, located in Towns County. The Sheriff’s Office collects donations of toys to distribute to needy children in the county. The toys are delivered by Deputies beginning on Christmas Eve. The toy ride is the club’s way of giving back to the community. This year in addition to members donating toys and the 2 area BMW motorcycle dealerships, BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta and Blue Moon Cycle, collecting toys, the club also decided to purchase a nice cache of toys from the proceeds earned during the rally. We had two BIG boxes of toys to load and take on the trip this year. In the past few years we’ve had overcast skies with cold temperatures and even snow. But this year gave us cloudless skies with chilly temperatures. Come on, it wouldn’t be a Christmas Toy Ride unless it was chilly! We had 40 motorcycles make the trip to deliver the toys. And it wasn’t just BMW motorcycles either! We had a group on Harley Davidsons show up with toys and there were a few Ducatis in the mix too. Kids needing toys for Christmas trumps motorcycle brand loyalty every time.
On the way back I even got to find out first hand from someone about the toy ride. Myself and another rider had stopped in a restaurant for lunch on the way home. The manager came out and asked us what we were riding. Then he asked where we were headed and we told him we were on our way home from the toy ride. He knew all about it. He explained that he and his wife were Towns County residents and had contributed toys in the past. He went on to say that over a year ago he had gotten laid off and times got tough and they couldn’t contibute last year. He even ended up selling his Suzuki C50 motorcycle and longed to ride again. Now that he’s working again, they’re contributing again. He thanked us for our help and told us how much it was really appreciated. His words made the ride even more worthwhile.
After lunch I went to the convenience store next door to get gas for the trip home. As most places are now, the pumps are credit/debit or pre-pay. The girl working was outside and called out to me as I was walking towards the store “It’s OK, I’ll go in and turn it on.” A moment later, a voice of “Go ahead.” was heard from the speaker on the gas pump. When I went in to pay for the gas she told me that she always lets motorcyclists pump first and then pay because in her 15 years of working at convenience stores she’s “Never had a biker ride off without paying. No matter how scuzzy he looked.”
And the quote of the day came from Bob Wooldridge of BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta. “NOW we have a ride! The guy on the Harley with the skull mask is here!”
Oh and the Magic Carpet came home with over 63,000 miles on the odometer.
It was a good day all around! Many thanks to Ian Schmeisser for taking a good portion of the photographs below.