Wednesday, June 13, 2012
IT TAKES A VILLAGE....Diomage Zijspanrun 2012.
I got invited by Ad Donkers of LBS Sidecars to attend and ride in the 11th Annual Diomage Sidecar Run held in the village of Gemert and put on by the Kleppenjagers Motorcycle Club, a club started in 1974 by Toon, Harold and 2 other motorcyclists.
Since the first Diomage Sidecar Run 11 years ago, each year in June the Kleppenjagers get together with 80-100 of their members with sidecars, they gather at the Diomage Home in Gemert in the Netherlands, and with the help of the Diomage and may volunteers of the town, bring about 90 handicapped people for a day long sidecar ride, stopping at Holiday Park at lunchtime, where there is a huge outdoor party for all, then finishing with the drive back to Gemert and a BBQ at the Diomage for everyone involved.
It's an event that the Kleppenjagers MC have been putting on now since 2001, and this year was the first year that it was raining for the event, but it didn't seem to dampen the sprits of the sidecarists nor their passengers alike.
Toon van Houtert, one of the founding members of the Kleppenjagers MC.
Toon was the person who started the Diomage Sidecar Run 11 years ago....they've been doing it every year since.
The members of the Kleppenjagers MC (Valve Chasers in English) used to do similar runs in Belgium and some other countries helping the handicapped, so Toon decided to try to help those closer to home. Across the street from his house was the Diomage House, so Toon went over and started discussions with them on how the Kleppenjagers could help them and the handicapped, and the Diomage Sidecar Run was born.
My charge and happy passenger for the day.
Despite the cold and the rain, a smile was on her face the whole time.
They usually get about 100 sidecarists on the run each year, this year due to the weather, only about 72 were able to make it, still a good turn out I think.
Even in the rain, the route that Toon designed for the 1 1/2 hour ride to Holiday Park from Gemert was such a pretty and scenic run. I can only imagine how it would be if the weather was a little nicer.
Beautiful tree lined country roads, the foliage forming a mile long green canopy overhead, the beauty of the run took away a little of the cold and the rain.
This is not a thumbs down, it's a thumbs up for our Australian visitors.
Cold, wet and still smiling.
"Harry" again. Due to a slow loss of vision, Harry can only ride as a passenger these days.
Still, riding as a passenger is better than not riding at all. Just ask Harry.
He'll never feel the wind blowing his beard all over the place sitting at home.
The little things we take for granted........
This was his version of a 'Thumbs Up', a very big effort.
Something so simple for most to do, that for others can be so difficult.
This Kawasaki was my one of my favorite outfits at the event.
Harry, barking orders, go left, go right, and he can't see.
Near the end of the day, and still smiling.
So, at the end of the day, and she is STILL smiling.
What did I take away from this?.
One persons rainy day is another persons sunny day.