I have had a love affair with the motorcycle community for well over 20 years. I have been part of the community for over 30 but the love affair began for me Christmas 1988...

My old man and I had separated, he was out of work having been laid off and staying with his brother in Alberta and looking for work.

My daughter and I were on our own for a while and things weren't looking too rosy.
I had gifts for my daughter, a book, a doll. Money was tight and I was scared.

On the 24th of December, a couple of the local riders showed up at our home. They knocked on the door, I invited them in and offered them a coffee. They said they stopped in to see how me and my girl were doing. We visited for a bit and Doug McPherson went out to the truck, he brought in a box with some groceries and a couple of presents wrapped up for my girl.

At first my reaction was I don't need that - that's charity, I started to protest but Doug who had set the box down on the table, grabbed me by the shoulders and looked me square in the eye and said "Girl, this ain't charity. When you and Ronnie are good again and you are in a better place we expect you to pay this "Loan" forward."

I cried. The coffee that was in the box was for me, the best gift. I was out of coffee (having made my last pot to share with them). I gratefully cooked the chicken, invited a couple of our old bachelor buddies for Christmas dinner and celebrated Christmas with a happiness I had not felt in a while.

Well, time passed, things got better and I never forgot the "Loan" I was given.

I have done my best, every year to pay that loan forward.

The fact that the two riders who came over knew my "Bikers" heart well enough to know I was proud and stubborn. They left me with a feeling of dignity, a sense of family and a sense of pride.

Since then, every Toy Run Season - I participate in the planning of the parade, volunteer to work during the event, help out wherever I can.

It touched me deeply, profoundly and forever altered the person I was and put me on this path.
I am in a position to really give back to my community. To make a difference, to give of myself and to be of service.

That is why I donate 30% of the available space in the paper to the charities and causes that riders support, why Ali and I donate free web sites to 6 riding clubs and or their charitable causes every year.

It's why we donate $1 from the retail sales of the Little Black Book to AIM-Can, the Alliance for Injured Motorcyclists.

Paying it forward has become my Mantra, it's what drew me closer into this community, it's why I am so passionate and loyal to this community. Every week of the riding season I get to be around people who do the same thing I do. Give back, pay it forward, lend a helping hand and do it gratefully and happily.

Is our community perfect? NO - far from it. But it is a wonderful community filled with talented, generous and caring people. I have been blessed many times in my life for being a part of this community.

Ride safe, you are important - VERY important.

Belt Drive Betty

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  1. Hi Betty,

    I've been away for a bit cause my mom was sick back east... have been posting but not commenting...
    This is a great post and I can feel it comes straight from the heart..You are a good community member and a great biker sister...that's why we love you

  2. Hello Betty - I'm Lance, and I got over to your blog by way of Baron's. Thanks for this great post - what a great reminder that we're all in this together.

  3. Isn't that the truth - we ARE all in this together! Thanks for dropping by.