The sound is unmistakable: that throaty, rumbling growl that makes you stop and look to catch a glimpse of an American classic. As you turn your head, you know what you'll see--the gleaming chrome of a Harley-Davidson.
Now, take that body-shaking rumble and multiply it by, say, 150, mix it with a few hundred motorcycles of assorted parentage, and you've got a spectacle that's sure to catch some serious attention.
That's just what Todd Godfrey and the rest of the Intermountain HOG Chapter want to happen. But they're not out looking for bike appreciation (although that's an unavoidable side effect), they're trying to raise some serious cash for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Sunday, May 17, will mark the sixth annual MDA Ride, sponsored by the Intermountain HOG Chapter and High Desert Harley-Davidson, among others. It's part of a continuing partnership between Harley-Davidson and the MDA going back 29 years, a partnership that has raised more than $65 million for finding treatments, and hopefully a cure, for the disease.
This will be the fourth ride Godfrey has personally been involved with, and he said each year, more and more motorcycle owners turn out to lend their support. Last year, the event drew 331 motorcycles with 422 riders and raised more than $14,000. The total far exceeded Godfrey's goal of $8,000, a challenge he threw down with the promise of shaving his head if participants met the goal.
The now-bald Godfrey has a new goal of $20,000 that goes along with his promise to shave off his mustache if it is met.
He's hoping to see 600 bikes assemble on the morning of the event at High Desert Harley-Davidson in Meridian, the starting point for the day-long ride. There, participants will get breakfast after they register, as well as a map of the planned route.
It won't be just Harleys rolling down the road. Godfrey always brings out a mix of bikes and bikers, riding everything from choppers to street bikes.
"I don't care what you ride," Godfrey said. "Whether it's a Harley or a scooter ... my goal is to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association."
While some pre-registration will be done, most will happen on the morning of the event. Entry fee is $20 per bike.
Riders will cruise down I-84 with a police escort to Boise State for a short presentation before hitting the road for a roughly 60-mile ride taking the group out as far as Caldwell. The group will make stops along the way, with chances to win prizes throughout the ride.
The event will wind up at Joe's Crab Shack, one of the event sponsors, where the riders will have dinner, which is included with registration.
While you might not own a motorcycle, that doesn't mean you can't just take in the spectacle.
"If you've never seen 400 [or] 500 motorcycles in one location, it's a sight you'll never forget," Godfrey said.:
For more information about the MDA Ride, call Godfrey at High Desert Harley-Davidson at 208-338-5599.