Hope on Wheels motorcycle ride shows off new course, raises money for cancer patients
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Riders in the sixth annual Hope on Wheels motorcycle ride enjoyed a perfect weather day to tour the region on a new course while raising money for cancer patients.
The event, presented by Mountain States Foundation on Saturday, May 31, had 50 motorcycles participate in a poker run format, raising $7,300 for the Foundation’s Circle of Hope fund that provides financial assistance to hundreds of patients during their treatment.
Circle of Hope is often used for expenses associated with cancer care such as gas vouchers, taxi fares, non-covered medications, nutritional expenses and personal care items. The Circle of Hope has paid for electric or other important bills, depending on the patients' greatest needs.
The new, 77-mile route included four poker run stops, beginning at the Market Street Centre in Johnson City. The ride lasted about 2½ hours, including stops, and took bikers to Elizabethton, through Stoney Creek and over the mountain to Shady Valley, then along the legendary U.S. 421 route known as “The Snake” across South Holston Lake to Bristol. The return trip went past Bristol Motor Speedway and crossed Boone Lake before returning to Johnson City.
“Riders really enjoyed the new course,” said Jeff Clinebell, one of the organizers. “One thing people wanted from years past were more stops along the way because it was just a little bit too long on the bike at one time, so we changed it to the poker run format and that seemed to be really popular.”
“We had beautiful weather, a good turnout, and we raised money for a great cause. We also had several volunteers from the Johnson City Medical Center Engineering and Radiation Oncology departments to make our ride a successful event.”
Afterward, door prizes were awarded and Atmos Energy helped grill hamburgers and hot dogs for a post-ride lunch. Grainger and Lowes donated the grand prizes that were handed out to the participants.