Now that springtime has begun to blossom around the country, it's time for people in snow-battered regions to haul their motorcycles out of storage and start gearing up for some summer driving. While taking a solo ride can be fun at times, nothing beats joining with some fellow bikers and reveling in the excitement and freedom that motorcycles provide.
Bikers are a charitable bunch and host hundreds of rallies and races nationwide for the sole purpose of donating to needy causes. These bikers ride for all sorts of charities, from supporting firefighters and non-profits to fighting terminal illnesses and helping chronically ill children. Not only do bikers collectively travel millions of miles for these causes, but according to Motorcycle.com they also raise millions of dollars for these charities too.
If you're looking to become one of the thousands of bikers raising awareness and funds for a noble cause, here are some of the top-drawing rallies for fun or for fundraising:
Sturgis - Perhaps the most well-known motorcycle rally in the country, Sturgis draws the biggest and rowdiest crowd for their annual August gathering in North Dakota. But despite the wildness and motorcycle appreciation, the festival-goers still find time to do charity work when the mayor of Sturgis hosts the annual Mayor's Ride. The $150 registration fee to ride with the mayor himself through the scenic Black Hills benefits the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department the Police Reserve.
Ride for Kids - The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation hosts the Ride for Kids with 37 motorcycle events scattered across the country each year. Running strong since 1984, the funds raised go toward grants for medical research in addition to helping out affected families.
Ride for Life - The largest Harley-Davidson fundraising event to benefit MDA, the Ride for Life has been around raising millions of dollars since 1988. All money raised by the EHDDA - the Eastern Harley-Davidson Dealers Association of New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania and southern New York - stays in the area to help out local individuals and families suffering from a form of muscular dystrophy.
Ride for the Red - The American Red Cross hosts the Ride for the Red just outside of Topeka, Kansas. Even though this fundraiser is only in its fifth year, already over 350 participants rode for the Kansas Capital Area Chapter of the Red Cross last year.
Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom - Join the hundreds of thousands of bikers rumbling through the nation's capital in one giant caravan to raise public awareness for those in the armed forces still being held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action. Sometimes called the Run for the Wall, this rally travels through Washington, D.C., starting by the Pentagon and finishing at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
3J's Motorcycle Days - This Sonoma Raceway charity rally is not for the casual Sunday biker, but rather for those riders who want to combine their need for speed and their desire to help a good cause. Going 20 years strong, last year this event raised much needed money for Speedway Children's Charities in helping disadvantaged children.
Tour of Honor - If organized rallies aren't necessarily your cup of tea, the Tour of Honor is an independent, self-directed ride that allows the motorcyclist to tour the country, see the memorials and monuments and donate to a worthy cause. The charity's beneficiaries change from time to time, but recently the Fisher House Foundation, Operation Comfort Warriors and the Fallen Heroes have all been recent recipients of the Tour's generosity.
No matter if you're cruising down the highway on a joyride or revving your engine for charity, you're going to need affordable motorcycle insurance.