Toy Rallies - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 12-02-2012, 11:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Toy Rallies

I'm sure a bunch of you have done or are planning on doing one of these this year. Share your pics, share a story, share your involvement. Whatever. I know there was the poser thread on this subject but I figured I'd go more with the feel good route.

I hit the Chicago Toys For Tots parade for the 2nd time ever this year. Unofficial number so far is just shy of 65,000 bikes in attendance!

In downtown Chicago a fair few of the people lining the streets for this parade are poor families that are expected recipients of the toys. When you have this many bikes and people are lining the streets for the majority of a 20 mile stretch, many holding signs saying 'God Bless Bikers', many with tears in their eyes... It's overwhelming at times.

The following awesome things happened today:
* I high-fived a bunch of kids as we rode by them when they stuck their hands out for high fives.
* A women on the sidewalk ran over to my wife while we were stalled and asked if she could take her picture with her. My wife agreed and the women quickly wrapped an arm around my wifes neck and did the whole lean back and big pose thing. After she got the picture she ran back to the sidewalk and I watched her looking at her camera to check that the photo came out good, and visibly jump up and down and giggle with joy when she saw that it did.
* I rode without a helmet for the first time since before I bought my first one almost a decade ago. I opted instead for a Santa hat in this <20 mph traffic controlled parade. It was really weird even at low speeds... I put that thing on even when I'm taking a lap around my neighborhood to dry off a bike after a wash.

My Max all holiday'd up.




Unfortunately our dedicated pillion rider and photographer got sick this morning so there's only a handful of shots mid-parade. I whipped out the camera while it was stopped and they're less than the ideal shots mid-ride, but hey at least they're something. Maybe I'll get a GoPro for Christmas.

(30+ pic album)
Toys For Tots Chicago 2012 - Imgur

Choice shots for those that don't want to browse:
A 9-photo spliced panoramic of the line-up before we took off. This is only a fraction of the bikes that were there.


1 of 2 heavily modified Ruckus I saw.


Santa biker on a cell phone and a pretty awesome adventurer with luggage.


Load of bikes




(note the woman waving from their window on the upper right. The whole ride was filled with this and people on the streets)






Dat Ass


And a bagger towing an honest to god sleigh


Back home:
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks like a great experience, thanks for sharing and hope your photographer is feeling better!
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah it was pretty wild. Had to be a record breaker... I think the biggest run before was something like 55k.

Here's some news coverage for more shots of bikes and some background on the program.

Annual Toys for Tots parades motors through Chicago - WGN

Chicagoland Toys For Tots Parade CBS Chicago

I was riding around in my santa hat and cheesing it up and posing for the various photographers I saw but it's looking like I didn't make any news channels. It's looking from the footage like they only stuck around for the first tier for their coverage. I was in the 4th or 5th so I guess I'll need to show earlier next year if I want my 15 minutes of fame lol!

More choice photos:








These charity events are pretty amazing if for nothing else to see the guys in their full colors chatting it up with the guys shirtless on sport bikes and giant pink bikes. The cause softens everybody and it's just a great time.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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oh the rucksters we have a huuuuuge group of guys riding modded ruckus' all over campus. those rucksters are more than my bike! they pay big for those kits
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I did the Olympia Toy Run on Saturday for the first time and had a blast!
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Our town's was Saturday. Over 440 bikes and 900 plus riders. Silver anniversary of the event as well. We all gather in a parking lot and then ride a whole mile and a half down to the Salvation Army drop site.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's awesome man. Very uplifting indeed.

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Old 12-03-2012, 05:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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We participated in the ABATE toy run on Saturday the 2nd. It was a lot of fun.

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I so need a GoPro for the next time around.

Here's a vid somebody threw up on youtube of the event, shows the parking lot and some actual riding in the parade. Shows a lot of the people o the streets that were there for most of the 20 miles.


Really cool stuff.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Someone filmed all but maybe the first 50-75 riders of the Olympia Toy Run at the starting area.

OLYMPIA TOY RUN 12/1/12 - YouTube

I heard we had about 16,000 this year. The rain kept the numbers down.
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