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FedEx motorcycle ride provides help on wheels

August 13, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HALFWAY - Combining altruism and the joys of a summer day, dozens of motorcyclists rode through Washington and Franklin counties Sunday to raise money for United Way.

The idea germinated within FedEx Ground in Halfway.

Brian Becker, a senior manager, said the local plant holds cookouts, bake sales and walks to benefit United Way, in line with the corporate philosophy.

Dan Mullenix of Williamsport, a maintenance technician for FedEx Ground, thought up the ride for bikers, who, he said, are always looking for a good ride.

He said a moderate fee - $10, including lunch - would draw motorcyclists.

He sent a notice through an e-mail list of bikers and word spread in the plant.

Becker said about 100 people participated.

They started gathering at about 10 a.m. at the FedEx Ground plant on Newgate Boulevard, off Halfway Boulevard.

Sponsors donated food, water and merchandise.

Motorcycles were judged in three categories: sport, touring and custom.

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A DJ played songs by Elvis Presley, and Bill Haley and His Comets.

Riders picked up windshield targets for a "bug splat" competition. The goal was to have a bug carcass splattered right on the bull's-eye by the end of the ride.

Dan Plotner of Falling Waters, W.Va., who has a Harley-Davidson Super Glide, got Mullenix's e-mail.

Mike Crance of Hagerstown saw the notice on the Internet as he was looking for upcoming rides. He brought his 1974 Harley old school chopper.

He said the event, which organizers hope to repeat in future years, needs wider advertising next time.

Bikers often go to Internet listings for rides as they plan their weekends, Plotner said.

Word of the ride, though, spread far enough that a group of about 30 bikers from Harrisburg, Pa., showed up.

Becker and Mullenix said some came from other places, such as Frederick County, Md.

Others - such as Mike Mercer of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. - work at FedEx Ground and heard about the ride firsthand.

The path of the ride was about 50 miles. It went along U.S. 40 to Md. 63, north into Pennsylvania, then along Pa. 16 and Pa. 75, returning to Maryland.

Charity rides are common among bikers, Mullenix said.

"Nine times out of 10, your biker community is the most giving community you're going to find," he said.

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