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Bikers for Babies gets ready to ride for the March of Dimes

By Staff | Nov 10, 2008

An 11-mile long surge of bikers will wind their way through Collier and Lee Counties on Sunday as part of the March of Dimes Bikers For Babies weekend fund-raising event.

In its eighth year, Bikers for Babies raises $250,000 on average to help save babies from birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.

Their goal this year is the same, as the event is expected to draw more than 2,500 bikers from Florida, Georgia, and maybe the Carolinas.

“The bikers are so generous, it’s outrageous,” said Tricia Christian, director of communications for the March of Dimes. “It’s friends of friends of friends… just one big happy family getting together and doing a big thing.”

The “big thing” is a weekend long celebration, kicking off with a Fright Night and costume contest.

Saturday’s Rumble and Ride Bike Night, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., brings people together from all around Southwest Florida, to explore, and meet and greet fellow riders.

Starting at 9 a.m., riders are encouraged to gather at area Bob Evans, to grab a “rumble map,” and hit the streets.

Pre-registration is suggested for the big ride on Sunday, when the roads of Southwest Florida will be thumping with the heat of hogs, Harley’s and bikes of all varieties.

Starting at 9 a.m., riders will head north from their meeting place at North Collier Regional Park, for the 35-mile trek to the Harley Davidson dealership on Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

Registration on the day of the ride will be tricky, as organizers tend to register upwards of 900 riders and passengers in just under two hours.

Senior Community Director Regina Toops said organizing the event can be tricky, too, but not necessarily difficult. She organizes the event each year.

“I don’t want to say it’s difficult, but there’s just so many little things,” Toops said. “It’s the little things that become difficult, the little tiny details that we keep going through that keeps the loose ends tight.”

It takes just under a year for the event to be put together, with preparations often starting the day after the ride concludes.

Toops is encouraging people on Fort Myers Beach and along McGregor Blvd. to bring out there lawn chairs and pony-up along the road to watch and cheer the riders as they go by.

“People can line San Carlos (at Fort Myers Beach), and people who live off of McGregor will bring out their chairs can sit and watch the bikes go by,” Toops said. “Its like the Edison Parade of Lights.”

Admission is $30 for each rider, and $20 per passenger. For more info, contact the March of Dimes at 433-3463, or Fort Myers Harley Davidson at 274-5085.