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Local

Motorcycle mania Thursday in Rock Falls

Historic bikes making a pit stop; St. Jude Rides rolling out of town

Motorcyclists prepare to embark Sept. 15, 2016, from Long Shot Bat and Grill for the 3-day, 530-mile St. Jude's Ride to Memphis.
Motorcyclists prepare to embark Sept. 15, 2016, from Long Shot Bat and Grill for the 3-day, 530-mile St. Jude's Ride to Memphis.

ROCK FALLS – Like motorcycles? Thursday has them coming and going in Rock Falls.

First, members of St. Jude Rides Sterling/Rock Falls will be thundering off on their 12th annual trek to Memphis, delivering the fruits of a year’s worth of fundraising for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

The public is invited to send them off in style. They leave at 7 a.m. from Days Inn, 2105 First Ave.

Donations still are being taken, and riders and sponsors still are welcome. Monetary donations can be mailed to Gary Fulrath, P.O. Box 398, Sterling, IL 61081; make checks payable to St. Jude’s Ride.

The group’s goal is to raise $63,000, which is $11,000 more than they raised for last year’s ride.

Then, in a delightful bit of serendipity, 120 classic pre-1929 motorcycles, of all makes and models and from five countries, will be making a pit stop at Workman’s Harley Davidson, right next door.

The 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball endurance race, from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon, is arriving from Bourbonnais and taking a short lunch break in town before heading to Iowa, on Day 6 of the race.

While they are here, the public is invited to walk among the bikes, talk to the riders and take pictures of the historic machines.

Ad best as can be predicted, riders are expected to arrive around noon and leave around 1:15 p.m.; spectators are advised to get to Workman’s early, though, to make sure they don’t miss the impressive arrival.

Parking can be had at the Days Inn to the south or Walmart to the north.

EVEN MORE ONLINE

Anyone interested in learning more about St. Jude Rides Sterling/Rock Falls or the chapter's 12th annual trip to Memphis and back is welcome to attend its final organizational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Days Inn, 2105 First Ave.

St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, which never charges a family for treatment, housing or food, has helped hundreds of Sauk Valley children, either at its Memphis facility or its Peoria affiliate.

To donate or for more information on the ride, the chapter or its upcoming fundraisers, call organizers Gary Fulrath, 815-499-6332, or Lisa Ditzler, 815-222-0283, go to stjuderides.org or find St. Jude Rides Sterling/Rock Falls to Memphis on Facebook.

To learn more about the cross-country Motorcycle Cannonball endurance race, which is held on secondary roads every other year, go to www.motorcyclecannonball.com or find it on Facebook.
 

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