Helping out at a charity motorcycle ride changed the course of Michelle Puffer’s life.
“I helped with the event in 2012 and was determined to be riding in it the following year,” she explained. “I had never had ridden in a motorcycle prior to 2013.”
It’s 2022, and she’s still involved in the organizing committee for the ride that this year will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley and Mission Community Services Society (MCSS).
The ride on Saturday, July 23, starts in Langley with breakfast cooked up by the Fort Langley Lions and Surrey Lions before the riders take to the road. There are presentations by Big Brothers Big Sisters and MCSS during the day so riders understand their work. There’s a picnic lunch, door prizes, treats, and more. The ride wraps up in Mission with MCSS hosting dinner.
People can learn more at rideintohistory.ca.
“Riders are very giving people,” Puffer said. “They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and their love of riding brings unlikely people together. When they can ride and give back, when they can enjoy good food, great scenery and company while doing so they will do it. They don’t need an excuse to ride, but giving them one with a purpose makes it sweeter. I think people also want to give where they live and help in their own communities.”
To be part of the 10th Ride into History (this is year 11 but it was not held one year due to COVID), people need to register in advance if possible. Registration is $65.
“We can do registrations, even the day of. The only challenge on the day of is that I can’t guarantee T-shirts and food,” explained Troy Gaglardi, another organizing committee member.
He speculated on why the ride through the Fraser Valley continues to be a popular charity event.
“It comes down to people helping people,” Gaglardi said.
Puffer said there are participants who come back year after year.
“We have riders that have been coming since the beginning. We are very thankful,” Puffer noted.
For her, motorcycle riding has become a favourite activity.
“I enjoy it, because you have to focus on the ride, and on the road, you can’t be thinking of all the stress in your life, your kids, your bills, your job. You ride your own ride, but you go with others and enjoy something together, while being separate,” she said. “Until you do it, you don’t know, but when you get on that bike and feel the wind and see the scenery, it hits you, and you’re free from everything else in those moments. It’s truly awesome.”
Those who don’t ride motorcycles can also help out. Puffer noted that these and other community groups always welcome support from the public.
“I just think that even if people don’t ride in our event, if they’re able to help out their local charities wherever they live, they really should consider it,” she said. “Seeing good things happen in your own community and being a part of making that happen really makes a difference, both for them and for you.”
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