Yesterday the Maricopa County and Pima County chapters of BACA supported the MMA's toy run for Sunshine Acres Children's Home. Please click on the link when you have time, and read about Sunshine Acres. It is a great facility that runs on donations only. They receive no funds from federal, state or local governments. Absolutely amazing.
We left the house at 7:30 a.m. It was 39 outside. It was NASTY COLD! Met up with the west side crew at Denny's. Then hit the freeway to meet the Phoenix crew. After that, we hit the 101 and headed to Mesa. It was a freezing cold ride to Toby Keith's Bar & Grill. Nice place, food was ok, but I don't think I'll be back. While we were there, I learned that Toby Keith's has a 'no colors' policy and the only time all of us bikers would be allowed in the place wearing our gear would be that day. Whatever. If they don't want our money, we will gladly spend it elsewhere.
Once we finished chipping the ice off our faces, we had some grub, registered for the run and took off for Sunshine Acres. I was extremely nervous because up until this point, I had only ridden my own with a group of 5 or 6 other bikes. There were 110 bikes on this group ride. I was about the 8th bike in the pack, so I felt better, until I looked in my mirror. The other reason I was nervous: Annabelle was blowing oil out from her breather. A lot of oil. But I discussed it with Big D and he said it should be fine, as Sunshine Acres wasn't more than 3 or 4 exits down the freeway.
So I did the group ride thing with no issues. We presented all the toys and more than $2K to Sunshine Acres and some of us took a tour of the facility. It's a really amazing place! They took us through 3 of the homes, one of which was just completed last month. Travertine tile, beautiful decor, very comfortable living. All these homes are donated. Contractors, builders, etc. donate building materials, time, money, etc. so these kids will have homes.
Other people elected not to go on the tour, and give the kids rides around the facility on their bikes. It was really cold out, but the smiles on the kids' faces were well worth it! These kids always look forward to having the MMA come out and give them rides. It was really great.
After leaving Sunshine Acres, the last stop was Garfield's in Apache Junction. This is WAY the hell on the opposite side of the valley from where I live. The place was packed. I was concerned about Annabelle, due to the oil issue. I had discussed putting her in the BACA trailer that Sticks & Dimples were pulling, earlier in the day. When they said they were heading home, I gathered a bunch of my BACA family to help get Annabelle in the trailer. The ramps weren't in the trailer, so she had to be lifted. Good thing she's not a road king! :)
After packing up Annabelle, we went back into Garfields and I figured since I wasn't riding home, I would have a beer or two. Or three. Whatever. Anyway, I had a few beers. I didn't win any of the raffle items, but had a great time. It was nice to ride bitch with Big D, again. I haven't done that since sometime in October! The ride home was just as cold, if not colder than the ride out in the morning. It seemed like it took forever!
When we finally made it home, we still had a group with us, so I put on the coffee while everyone thawed out. I was exhausted, and felt ready for bed. Then I looked at the clock and realized it was only 6:00 p.m.! That's the trouble with leaving the house at 7:00 a.m.; you're exhausted by dinner time. The last of our guests left around midnight, and I slept great. I'm a bit sore today, but it was worth it!