It was cloudy and a light drizzle was falling on Sunday afternoon, June 6, as about 30 motorcycle riders rolled out of the Colossus Langley Cinemas parking lot in Langley to begin the 15th annual “Ride For Doug” fundraiser.
Turnout was lower than some previous rides, but Cam Penner, Doug’s dad wasn’t disappointed.
“That’s good for this weather,” Cam commented.
Cam and Doug agreed it wasn’t the worst weather they’ve been out in, either.
“”Not at all,” Doug told the Langley Advance Times.
In addition to raising money to fight muscular dystrophy, some of the funds from this year’s event went to help purchase a converted Chevy Traverse SUV to transport Doug in his power wheelchair.
Ride For Doug supporters raised $29,658, $14,735 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada and $14,923 for the Traverse, which is currently undergoing Canadian import paperwork and inspections.
“We could have it in our driveway in the next couple of weeks,” Cam said.
Doug, a car aficionado, has plans to upgrade the vehicle once it’s in his possession.
“A few appearance things,” Doug shared.
“Such as the wheel and the colour.”
Once again, due to pandemic restrictions, there was no end-of-ride barbecue, a high point of the event for most participants, including Doug.
“Maybe if things open up [we can have it next year],” Doug said.
In it’s place was a livestreamed event that included video highlights from the ride and highlights from 15 years of riding, including footage of a beaming 12-year-old Doug riding a dirt bike on a closed course in 2015.
At the end of the two-and-a-half hour ride, Cam called it “definitely the kind of day you don’t see many motorcycles on the road.”
“My bones are tired, my gear is wet, but my heart is well.”
Like last year, the 2021 version of the ride proceeded under COVID-19 protocols that, among other things, required riders who were not close family to keep a minimum six feet from other participants.
They travelled the back roads of Maple Ridge and Mission, heading to Abbotsford at the University of the Fraser Valley/Abbotsford Centre parking lo, with no rest stops on the way.
Details about how to support the ride and donate online, can be found at the Ride For Doug home page at www.ridefordoug.com.
READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley dad describes the pressures of coping with MD at Ride For Doug
Doug has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an inherited disorder that affects one in 5,000 males at birth. It very rarely affects girls.
Muscles become weaker as the patient gets older, and there is no known cure.
Donors to the Ride For Doug have so far contributed $250,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada to support research and equipment for patients, plus $40,000 for special projects for Doug.
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