Riders of all ages turn out for MDA Ride

August 23, 2004|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Hundreds of Harleys - and a few Hondas - descended on Greencastle, Pa., Sunday, but these riders had little in common with the rowdy bikers of pop culture lore.

With a brilliant sun gleaming off the chrome of their Sportsters, Fat Boys and Electraglides, 574 registered riders - many outfitted in the black leather chic of Harley-Davidson - roared out of M&S Harley-Davidson in Chambersburg to rendezvous in Greencastle for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

From 3-year-old Hannah Grace Moats of Chambersburg to 82-year-old Phyllis Magargee of Wormleysburg, Pa., the riders made their way through the mountains of Franklin and Adams counties in Pennsylvania and Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland before crossing the Mason-Dixon Line for a barbecue at the Rescue Hose Co. Special Events Center.


Jerry's Kids are the beneficiaries of Sundays' 16th annual MDA Ride sponsored by the Chambersburg Chapter of the Harley-Davidson Owners Group, said coordinator Joan Bowers of Hagerstown.

In 2003, 463 riders raised $42,000 for the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon held each Labor Day, she said.

Riders paid $20 to register and $10 for a chance to win a 2004 Harley Softail worth $15,000, which went to Debra Statler of Waynesboro, Pa., Bowers said. There were other raffles and food sales to bring this year's total to approximately $35,000, she said.

Ridership was up, but the amount raised was down because two of the biggest fund-raisers scaled back their efforts this year, Bowers said.

It is for a good cause, but several riders said any cause is also a good excuse for a ride. Rich Fogelsonger of Chambersburg said it was sort of a busman's holiday for him.

"I drive a truck all the time. This is kind of relaxing for me," Fogelsonger said as he waited next to his 1997 Ultraclassic Electraglide for his buddies to mount up.

David Willingham of Williamsport, who went on the ride with daughter Tammy Wolford of Big Pool, used to ride in the late 1950s, but left the bike behind until a few years ago.

"I got married and the kids came and the bike went," Willingham said. "Then the kids went and the bike came back."

"This is great, because we get to do things together again," said Wolford.

"The kids didn't want to come this year. They wanted to go school shopping. Go figure," said Greg Hoover of Greencastle, the director of elementary education for the Greencastle-Antrim School District. He was riding a 1996 Sportster with a sidecar that comes in handy when one of his four children wants a ride.

Tommie Pogue of Fayetteville, Pa., sat astride one of the most unusual bikes in the event, a 1996 Boss Hoss sporting a huge 350-cubic-inch V-8.

"There's not another bike around here like this," Pogue said. "You drive it like a car."

"It's fun to be around a lot of bikers because it's like a big family. They enjoy doing something fun. Something different," Sharon Moats said shortly before she and her daughter, Hannah, clutching a doll, roared down the road.

The Herald-Mail Articles