Doug Penner was explaining why he changed the colour of his new wheelchair-accessible SUV by getting it wrapped in a matte black vinyl cover, describing the factory paint job as an unpleasant shade of “sauteed mushroom green.”
Penner was celebrating the arrival of his new wheels, the result of three years of fundraising by the annual “Ride For Doug,” which raises money for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, as well special projects that assist Doug, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Other upgrades to the SUV, unveiled on Sunday, June 5, included slick new wheel rims and an sound system with substantial speakers that his dad, Cam, understated as “adequate.”
After two years of operating under COVID-19 restrictions, the annual 200-km ride through the back roads of Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission was back to normal, beginning and ending at the South Langley Church again, and wrapping up with the first post-ride barbecue since the pandemic hit.
Cam said 24 bikes and five cars with 35 people took part in the ride, while the barbecue drew 120.
Doug had broken his arm in a fall from a wheelchair while on a trip shortly before the ride, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from the ride and a long-postponed opportunity to socialize at the barbecue.
His older sister Sam suffered a near-identical injury about the same time during the same trip, but she, also, took part in the ride.
READ ALSO: Ride for Doug returns to normal
Aldergrove resident Robert Gillcash, a Ride for Doug regular, was “coming for the barbecue, absolutely.”
Gillcash has been taking part in the annual ride since he first met Doug and his dad in 2009.
“It was the day I bought my motorcycle, I had just picked it up,” Gillcash recalled.
It was a fairly rare model, but Doug wasn’t stumped when his dad challenged him to identify it.
“That’s one of the 2008 Yamaha R1 Canadian edition,” Doug announced.
An estimated $18,500 was raised, with $14,500 of the funds going to Muscular Dystrophy Canada, and the balance going towards future equipment needs for Doug.
Cam said it “demonstrated clearly that the generosity of our community is not in doubt.”
DMD is 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.
More photos from the day can be viewed at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
Ride For Doug, Vancouver Island edition, is expected to return this fall, likely in September.
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