I spent countless hours of my childhood terrorizing my small neighborhood on a Huffy BMX bike, all the while pretending I was Jeremy McGrath leading the pack on a high-powered dirtbike. Bicycles and motorcycles have always gone hand-in-hand, in my mind. Therefore, I found it only fitting when RevZilla decided to join forces with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to run motorcycle support for the Third Annual Lemon Ride bicycle ride.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raises money to support research in the fight against childhood cancer. The Foundation sets itself apart from other charities by encouraging children and families to get involved and to be part of the solution. This is only natural, considering Alex’s Lemonade Stand was founded by Alexandra “Alex” Scott, just after her fourth birthday, when she set up a lemonade stand to benefit her doctors so they could help other kids like they helped her.
The Lemon Ride is only one of the many events that Alex’s Lemonade Stand holds every year. Participants choose from routes of 63, 35, 12 or four miles. RevZilla was invited to run motorcycle support and marshal cyclists through stoplights and busy intersections, while cheering on the cyclists.
Primarily serious, experienced riders rode the two longer routes, but the 12-mile and four-mile runs were full of parents and children. Many of them had a personal interest in this fight.
The ride started at Central Bucks West High School and meandered through the country roads surrounding Doylestown, Penn. Riders doing the 63-mile route took off first at 7:30 a.m., accompanied by the twirls of triple engines and snarls from V-twins leading them onto the course, while cheers, whoops, and hollers from the crowd added inspiration. This performance was repeated every hour with the launch of each following group. The Zillans patrolling the course on motorcycles were having as much fun as the cyclists. Wearing Oxford Hi-Viz vests, blocking traffic, cheering on the riders, and making a lot of noise, we were transformed back to versions of our childhood selves, out there having a blast and hanging out with other kids.
Even onlookers got into the action. At the final intersection of the ride, people waiting in their stopped cars rolled down their windows, cheered, clapped, and honked in support as the young riders crossed the street. You could see the children, already pedaling their hearts out, pedal just a little bit harder while grinning ear-to-ear. They were the stars of the show and they knew how to play the part.
Cyclists where were greeted by a reception that rivaled a small town fair as they crossed the finish line. Vendors provided burgers, roasted chicken, baked beans, fresh fruit, veggies, chips, drinks, and Italian ice. Music blasted from stereo speakers and families mingled, enjoying the camaraderie of others in similar situations.
One of the main functions of events like the Lemon Ride is to let families battling cancer know that they are not fighting alone. For so many, Alex’s Lemonade Stand represents an entire community of people out their fighting alongside them and supporting them in their efforts. Sometimes, you just need a shoulder to lean on.
As for RevZilla, we are already looking forward to next year. We had more fun being part of this event than words can express. Not only did we get to give back to an amazingly worthy cause and hang out with an inspiring group of children, but we also got to be kids ourselves. With our bright-yellow vests, running around stopping traffic on our steel steeds, in our imaginative minds we were all superheroes, right alongside the real heroes of the day.
While Alex lost her battle with cancer just after her eighth birthday, her legacy lives on through the foundation that bears her name. Over the past nine years, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised more than $80 million through various fundraising events, such as the Lemon Ride bicycle race here in the Philadelphia area, as well as events all across the country.
To learn more about Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, to get involved, or to make a donation, visit the foundation website. And then come ride with us next year!