When I first heard about a group of motorcycle riders riding to ACE each year, I thought to myself, "this has got to be on my bucket list.” It took a few years for all things to align themselves, but ACE12 in Dallas turned out to be my year. I knew there were riders from across the US and Canada, and I knew they raised money for Water for People. I had visited the website www.ridewithpurpose.org, but it turns out I didn’t really know what I was getting into.
It didn’t take long to find out what I needed to do to join the "herd”. A couple of emails later I had my goal. Raise $1,000 for Water for People, the minimum to get my vest with all the patches. I took a two prong approach to raising those funds. First, I sent an email to pretty much everyone in my address book and spent a lot of time at Watercon telling anyone that would listen about the ride. Second, I sent a letter to any vendor I thought might be that big $1,000 patch sponsor or even willing to make a smaller non patch donation. How much any one Buffalo raises isn’t important. There are no prizes for highest fund raiser; we don’t even keep track of that. Just let me say - my friends in the water business, my vendors, and my family all have huge hearts. So many people were excited about this ride, I surpassed my goal in no time. I received my number, #46, and was soon to be a vested Buffalo.
The Ride was a great time. How often do we get a chance to blend two of our favorite things? Riding motorcycles and AWWA, then top that off with raising money for Water for People, my new favorite cause. The ride was well planned from every corner of the Country. My first stop was in Collinsville, Illinois, meeting some of my fellow Buffalos. The next day ended in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, meeting up with even more Buffalos. The third night we stopped in Denton, Texas, and the entire Herd was now in one spot. The traditional Water Buffalo dinner and ceremony was held at a local watering hole. The next day the entire Herd rode into Dallas to present the AWWA Board with a lcheck to Water for People for just over $60,000. What a great way to end a ride!
There was so much more to this experience than the ride. Walking around ACE with my Water Buffalo vest was an indescribable experience. Attending many -hour receptions was yet another highlight.
Thinking about it today, the most exciting thing about the ride to ACE12 was making plans for Denver at ACE13!
If it sounds like something you would like to experience, drop me a line. I would love to bring you into the "Herd”. If you would like to have your company’s logo on a patch, let me caution you - space on those vests is limited and goes pretty quickly, so talk to me soon!