What do 20 furry bikes, great company, and a rainy Rockford day have in common? Gotta be the Team Fur Bandit’s 7th annual Furryville ride to benefit the Fish-abeled Foundation. Bike riders of all levels of skill and road experience gathered at Kegel’s Harley Davidson on Perryville to launch the ride, which this year netted over $1,000 directly to the charity.
Did the weather turn people off from coming? Maybe, but that didn’t matter to the riders who did show up. “It’s fun when it’s sunny sure,” Team Leader and spiritual adviser DJ Wilson told a news crew from WREX. “But it’s also fun in the rain. It just doesn’t matter.”
The Fish-Abled Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities in the Rockford area, with a focus on helping them be more mobile in the community. In the spirit of Fish-Abled’s mission, the Fur Bandits took the length of Perryville, from Harrison to the traffic circle at Swanson to ride, wave at motorists, have fun, and gently remind people to not just be grateful for the mobility they enjoy, but also to think about people who aren’t quite as ambulatory.
One Bandit on a brown furry bike named ChewBike-a, said, “It’s never fun to be delayed when you’re in a car and we try to make it as easy as possible for motorists to get around us. We’re also hoping people think about that lack of mobility at least for those few minutes and then turn that into something positive, if not for Fish-Abled then for any local charity.”
This year riders were treated to a raffle and snacks courtesy of Rockford Bicycle Company, as well as a pretty comprehensive snack-spread at RBI which included pizza and wings, the perfect way to wait out the rain.
As team member Christina put it, “I’m proud to have been a part of such a well-planned, safe, philanthropic event. Once again, thank you drivers for your patience and understanding! Stay safe out there, riders!”
Stay tuned this summer for lots of exiting news from your furry philanthropists!