Last year (2006), in anticipation of starting a blog, I managed to swallow my fear, step outside my personal safety zone and get some pictures of this annual, newsworthy event. I was a nervous wreck, but I did it! The problem was that, aside from this personal achievement, it was over a month before the idea of blogging came to fruition. By the time Homespun Honolulu became a reality, the Toys for Tots story was too dated for me to talk about.
Street Bikers United Hawaii in cooperation with the United States Marine Corp Reserve hosted the 33rd Annual Street Bikers United Toy Run Parade. Anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 bikers come together bringing toys for children for Christmas. They ride from Magic Island, through Waikiki and over to Kapiolani Community College. Once at KCC, bikers surrender their festive passengers to the military trucks waiting to carry them on to youngsters who will soon give these toys or games a home.
This year, I managed to get much better pictures, and I got pictures of all facets of the run! I got shots of the start, the military in dress uniform, the Santa bikers with their gifts wrapped in plastic to avoid the rain, the finish… what a great catch! I was very proud of myself and couldn’t wait to download these pictures! When I went to review the pictures that I had taken, my camera decided that it suddenly couldn’t read its memory card. The chip, memory card, disk, whatever you want to call it, that had been in the camera for four and a half years, waited for December 2nd and my much-coveted collection of pictures to decide it was corrupted. “Nooooo!”
Yep, I was crushed. I waited a whole year to catch this event on film again! I couldn’t retrieve the pictures and I had no other option than to format the disk. They were gone. GONE!
So, I have decided to talk about this annual giving event, to give credit where it is due, and I’m going to use the pictures that I took last year! I am very glad that I held on to them.
Apologies to out to the handful of people who were kind enough to stop what they were doing and let me take their pictures this past weekend… not that they’ll ever see this, but just in case. I’m still upset but I’m also sort of gratified that I can use the pictures from last year, especially since they didn’t get any circulation! Besides, the message is still there and the story is the same — the bikers of Street Bikers United Hawaii and all over the State unite together to provide some Christmas joy for our less-fortunate and disadvantaged keiki.
Here again I get to tell you guys that, as a general rule, any evil Hollywood visions you may have of our bikers is just that — Hollywood. The reality is that they’re just like the rest of us and they have big hearts that go out to support the kids at this very sensitive time of year.
All that being said, here they are…
The female members of Street Bikers United stopped to pose for me last year as they sold T-shirts and memberships to those who were interested in joining forces with this happy group.
The ladies were very natural and comfortable sharing in the fun.
The gentlemen were not so comfortable. They got better when I reminded them that nobody was in a more precarious situation than I was! I just had to get the contrast of bikers with bears. Too cute!
Bikers mill around at Magic Island waiting for the start of the run. Some were feeling more festive than others as you will see by the pictures that follow.
So many bikes in such a small space. It was quite a sight! All of these highly-polished machines were obviously very cared for and a lot of them were obviously quite costly!
Some riders decorated their bikes while others decorated their bikes and themselves…
Still others took this gift-giving opportunity very seriously and their arrival at Magic Island made up a little mini parade of its own. Spectators could watch them file in to the park at the direction of the SBU volunteers who were on hand to direct the traffic at the park prior to the start of the run.
Still other took festive to an extreme…
I have to admit that these guys were the focal point for me last year.
Trust me, somewhere under there, there’s a motorcycle. After learning more over the last year, I think it was a trike under there, but, a motorcycle nonetheless! I guess we should call it a reindeer motorcycle.
So, just who and what is Street Bikers United Hawaii? Street Bikers United Hawaii is an organization created and perpetuated for the protection of the rights of motorcyclists.
“SBUHI represents the interests of motorcycle riders, persons actively involved with the trade and motorcycle enthusiasts.”
“SBUHI also exists to assist in charitable events and community services, motorcycle safety and driver awareness, and to take an active role in political action.”
I really am proud of them for standing up for their rights and for being open to all who care to join up or who want to offer them support.
“Let those who ride decide.”
That’s their motto. I think it is their right. They decide what laws are justified to govern the choices of riders. They decide whether or not they want to wear helmets… don’t get me started. For those of us who operate other forms of transportation, here’s our slogan:
“Look twice, save a life. Motorcycles are everywhere.”
Next year, I promise to get the best pictures that I can! A small piece of amusement… when I got home, in my email, after picking up a new card at CompUSA, I received a little ad from my friends at Edge Tech Corp. Remember them? The memory company on the shopping list?
Do you think they have ESP, or is this just a common occurrence at this time of year? Sigh. Anyway, if you need one, buy one! They’re cheaper than they used to be. If yours is old, buy a new one. If yours is new, buy another and carry it as a spare. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did! As much as I love Edge Tech, CompUSA does have 1GB cards for about $20 or so.
A big “Mahalo!” to LikaNui and tutusue over at Hawaii Threads for making me want to talk about my photographic mishap and share my pictures from last year in spite of it all! Mahalo, of course, to Street Bikers United for giving me something to talk about!