Bill and Jane Mitchell pulled into their driveway at 8:41 – one minute after sunset – having completed 493 miles of riding and meeting their goals for the Longest Day: raising over $2,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association and completing a sunrise to sunset, state-wide tour.
The pair led Team Ride safe on the inaugural Longest Day Ride. The ride was part of the nation-wide Longest Day Alzheimer’s Association fund raising event held to honor those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms begin slowly but usually worsen over time, frequently causing suffers to lose their ability carry on a conversation or function normally.
The Ride Safe team had six riders: Bill and Jane Mitchell, Dave Mickey, Carol Hickok, Bruce Brown and me (Bob LoCicero).
Ride highlights included a stop at Ronnie’s Cycle in Bennington, where they had hot coffee and donuts ready for us. If you enjoy comparison shopping, Ronnie’s is a great place to do it. Ronnie’s is a dealer for Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and KTM, among others. Where else can you see a brand new KLR650 sitting next to a brand new Honda XR650, next to a brand new Suzuki DR60?
After Ronnie’s, we headed across the bottom of the state to Brattleboro, where Josh Steele and his partner Chris showed us their shop, Vintage Steele. Their passion for bikes came through loudly and they were eager to show us their latest project bikes and tell us about their growing business. It is clear that Vintage Steele is place we’ll need to visit again this summer.
Our next stop was the Crossroads Country Café in White River, where I had a turkey club sandwich on hearty homemade wheat bread. The Crossroads is a great place to get homemade bake goods -- especially pie – and you can get breakfast all day long. Filling, high quality foods, served quickly make the Crossroads a great stop on a motorcycle tour.
Bill and Jane are planning to expand the Longest Day Ride next season. They hope to expand the team aspect of the ride, possibly by promoting relays to ride the whole route. Balancing long distance riding with the need to maintain safety is a key component in their planning for next year. We’re looking forward to it and hope to meet the challenge.