Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Hinton Toy Run.
It was wonderful to see 125 bikes come out to participate in the 47 kilometer route through town.  The Foothills Road Riders Association who hosts the event has had a rough winter with their president away working in Fort McMurray and the rest of the executive also consumed by work - they literally put their 24th Annual Toy Run together in a week.

They filled a pick up truck and a trailer with toys! The towns people of Hinton were lined up on the streets, many with toys. It was truly impressive how much the town supports this event. The RCMP blocked many intersections, volunteers blocked at the rest and the parade stayed very tight. The fire trucks that led the procession kept a really nice pace and everyone arrived to the campground just outside of town safe and sound.

It could have been very different though.
You see, there were by my count a half dozen young men in their late 20's to mid thirties who felt it necessary to have a beer in the parking lot at the mall before the parade got under way.

You read right - in the parking lot at the mall...BEFORE the parade.
Drinking, in the open with kids and families who don't ride present. What a wonderful example! NOT!
I have to wonder why.  I do not understand how people can be so thoughtless.
The FRRA has worked very hard to get the RCMP and the fire department's support for the event. So why would these riders put their need for a drink ahead of the very cause they are supposed to be supporting?

Had one of the seven officers that was present at the mall parking lot witnessed these people being selfish dumb asses, the support this Toy Run is given by the RCMP may have changed drastically.

I shake my head. In my humble opinion, these riders should be taken out in the back 40 and taught a few lessons in respect and common sense. There is a time and place for everything and in my humble opinion this was NOT the place to be drinking.

These drinkers got lucky. None of them caused an accident, none of them got caught.

However, by virtue of the fact that they were drinking, they put every other rider at risk, they put the Toy Run and the FRRA's relationship with the RCMP at risk.
They were lucky; dumb and selfish, but lucky.

I have heard of other charitable events where the RCMP who are working at the event as traffic blockers or leading parades do a walk through before the event/parade starts and ticket people for helmet, pipes and other violations. I have always thought that was wrong, but perhaps I am the one who is wrong for thinking that way. Perhaps their walk abouts have more to do with their knowledge of human nature and trying to protect other people from the dumb asses of the world.

If you are fortunate enough to be riding today, please use your head for something besides a helmet rack and please ride like everyone around you is blind and can't see you.

Belt Drive Betty
National VP - AIM-Can
Alliance for Injured Motorcyclists of Canada

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