What do you do on a peaceful Sunday morning? Do you go to Ala Moana Park and paddle board? Do you go sailing?
Some people do. Is that why I was venturing over to Magic Island? Uh, no. If it’s the first or second Sunday in December, I’m there for one reason and one reason only — the annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run!
The weather has been overcast all weekend so one can only guess that stuffed animals were not the toys of choice this year. While there were a few soft critters, not all of them were toys for the kids. Some of them were mascots.
The GEICO gecko made sure to show up for the occasion. In case you’ve missed the commercials, they insure motorcycles. Actually, I wonder if this one was a going to be gifted. If that’s the case, I need one for my car! I seriously wouldn’t mind having him as a passenger. This was actually the first bike photo I took as I thought, “They must be here.”
Indeed they were, with bells on! They were even ladies walking around taking monetary donations for Street Bikers United to help with the cost of the Toy Run, to keep it running! It is a great cause and quite the community event!
I liked this animated reindeer. He was just sitting there looking from side to side to see what was interesting, just like me!
The bikes are always a fascination but the people are too! There were people who dressed for the Christmas event that this is intended to be.
Then there were people who dressed, well, like bikers!
Of course Santa was there! He even found himself a biker chick!
There were the ones who attracted every camera lens. A pirate! Why a pirate?
This rider is a diver. The toy gave that away.
Of course the co-pilot shark kind of helped with that, too. So, a pirate is the proper attire — anything ocean! This is Hawai’i, how can you argue with outfitting yourself with anything ocean?
This one on the left was my favorite and I let her know that I thought it was too cool. And you guys thought I was kidding when I mentioned biker chick. Oh yeah, they were there too. Awesome!
The beauty of this event is that nobody knows what these people do for a living. Tank’s Lady may be a pediatrician for all we know! (If she sees this, I hope she tells us.) One of the other rugged-looking dudes might be an architect. It happens! That is the beauty of events like this and that is why I take every opportunity to squelch the negative opinions the seem to pop up whenever people hear the word “biker.”
Like anything else, riding is a passion that runs through a biker’s veins. It’s like hunting, fishing, running, or any of the other events to which people devote their time.
Bikers are not the ogres people try to make them out to be. Yes, there are bad a**es but there are those in every group of people. This is just one example of good people trying to do something good for their community and enjoy themselves in the process. Trust me, I was there! I was at KCC with a four-wheeled vehicle (who wants to see a car at a biker event?) and still I was allowed to sneak in. I witnessed the camaraderie among bikers, and I enjoyed the acceptance of this crazy blogger who was there with camera in hand simply because they were all there being who they are!
Patience, understanding and a lot of ALOHA makes this event what it is every year. I witnessed it and I enjoyed the benefit of it — of course the “I Brake for Bikers” bumper sticker on my boring automobile may have helped with that part.
I so love it when people prove me right! <sarcasm>Gasp! Those horrible people!</sarcasm> There is an annual bike blessing, by the way, in case you have friends or family that need to have their bikes blessed — which is not a bad idea on our Hawai’i roadways!
Every year I come away with something in my hand. This year I did not come away with a GEICO bandana or a Marine Corp flyer. This little treasure brought tears to my eyes as I picked it up and found that it was the New Testament in its entirety along with stories that I will share with everyone later.
As I thumbed through it to see what was included in the text, I decided that I would have to share the stories with everyone later. This is the best season to do so as most of them are recovery stories about overcoming some of the different challenges that life throws our way.
I always look for fun and fascinating things to share. Santa’s sleigh is always an important thing to share!
In the process of seeking these fun things, I always seem to find at least one bike that makes me catch my breath. This one was stunning! If the owner catches this post, please share your story for this picture I have labeled, “My Star Performer.”
Everyone loves Pooh Bear and the Veterans are no exception. I’m assuming these were the bikes of Veterans. Anyone is welcome to correct me if I’m wrong! Please do!
With every turn the lot was filling up quickly.
One biker from this large group noticed the camera.
They just seemed to be coming from all directions
There must have been more this year than in the past. It was getting crazy at the starting point but it was unbelievable at the end and police officers had to direct the traffic for the stream of bikers filing in to drop off their toys!
So many bikers, so many toys.
I asked the Marine officer who was taking in the toys if these toys were for the children of military, disadvantaged children, or whose children. His response was that the toys are for all children. My assumption is that they are for all any and all children in need at this time of year.
I leave everyone with this little mascot. A biker dog! What a cutie!
Someone asked me, “Do you ride?”
“No, I’m a coward and have too much road rage — it would be a suicide mission for me to become a biker.” That small bit of intelligence on my part does not change my desire and my admiration for those who do!
My one regret this year is that those ladies collecting donations were doing so to support the event itself and I missed an opportunity to show my support. But, all is not lost! If you want to make a donation to help keep this event running, please do by making your check payable to “The Toy Parade Inc” and mail it to: SBUHI, P.O. Box 5003, Kaneohe, HI 96744. I am!
Heartfelt appreciation goes out to Street Bikers United, the Marine Corp., and all of the bikers who participate in this event every year. Thank you for sharing your excitement and passion with us, and mahalo nui for letting me live vicariously through all of your passion and events!