What an incredible day! Beautiful weather and amazing support from the Community! This was our largest Max’s Ride yet and a record breaking year for donations, number of Riders and what a huge turnout for the “Rock the Garten” concert! From all of the ALS Community, THANK YOU ALL-Volunteers, Sponsors, Riders and Concert Goers!
A Bikers View-Max’s Ride ALS
My uncle Joel Porter was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2006. Joel has been blessed to be able to continue to ride and to feel that unmistakable freedom we may sometimes take for granted. So when I learned about Max’s Ride in late 2012—a ride to raise awareness and funds for ALS and those suffering from it— I was determined to join him and my cousin in a show of support for this wonderful cause. The only problem: I didn’t yet know how to ride.
You know those bumper stickers that read: “I’m not from Texas, but I got here as fast as I could”? I feel that describes me about becoming a motorcyclist. Thirty-seven years had passed before I ever climbed on the back of a bike. It was a Thanksgiving trip to Austin in 2012 in which Joel gave me my first thrill of being in the wind. I was hooked from the start. The second week of December, I was at my local H-D dealer in Raleigh, NC (Ray Price Harley-Davidson) learning how to ride as part of their Rider’s Edge program. A couple months later, I was the proud owner of a 2008 Nightster, learning all of the backstreets and by-ways of my part of the country. Now, with just a little over a year riding experience, along with multiple group rides with my local HOG chapter, I felt the call to join Joel and Rod (my cousin) for Max’s Ride, 2014.
On the day before Max’s Ride, I visited Cowboy Harley-Davidson and Rick sorted me out with a 2014 Fat Bob. From there, Joel and I went on our own two-wheeled adventure, taking several of the routes that we would be riding the next day, even going by The Salt Lick, where the unmistakable smell of pit-cooked BBQ flooded the night air.
On the morning of the ride, I was thrilled to see so many come out to support and to participate in Max’s Ride. I enjoyed hearing the anthems of all the Armed Forces played as tribute was paid to all veterans. After some quick instructions and a touching invocation, our group of 100 bikes was on the road. After an exhilarating ride through Texas hill country, we roared into downtown Austin rolling on our throttles as we made our way through busy downtown intersections. It was a roar unlike any I’ve ever experienced. With smartphones in the air, folks lining the sidewalks were documenting our thunderous approach to the Capitol, and thunder we did.
The official ride was now over, but the party was just getting started at Scholz Garten! And what a party it was! Live music, live and silent auctions, and cold, refreshing beverages awaited us. I enjoyed meeting and talking to so many different people that afternoon, from fellow riders to other supporters of the cause for which we ride. I remain in awe of how this one singular event brought so many people from all walks of life together. I can’t begin to list all the volunteers involved in making this year’s event a safe and successful event, but these events don’t run themselves, I do know that! THANK YOU!
In parting, I want to thank my Uncle Joel for the unmistakable gift he’s given me. That gift: the passion for embracing life on two wheels. Thank you. A thousand times, thank you.~Kevin Porter