2012 Barb’s Harley-Davidson Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride – Road Captain’s Report

October 21st, 2012

Saturday, 20 October 2012, it’s our 5th wedding anniversary.  Most married couples would be somewhere special celebrating the occasion.  But Jan and I are a little different.  We chose this day to be thoroughly involved with the celebration of not just one special day, but instead, the celebration of life.  Today is the day that Jan dedicates to those like herself who are survivors of breast cancer.  Today is her Annual Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Motorcycle Run sponsored by Barbs Harley-Davidson of MT. Ephraim, NJ.

At 6:00am I’m already up preparing for the day. Jan is getting in her last 45 minutes of sleep while I try to get out of her way.  Our friend, “Big T”, is supposed to meet us at 7:45am, so while Jan prepares herself I get the bikes out of the garage, check the tires and oil and move them to the end of the driveway.  “Big T” has volunteered, as he does every year, to tow the Divas For A Cure Trailer filled with Jan’s supplies.  I already have the trailer hooked to Jan’s SUV and parked on the street.  His involvement allows both Jan and I the freedom of riding our bikes to the event.

Jan was ready on time. We loaded the trailer, packed our saddlebags and plugged in the ipods.  “Big T” arrived 15 minutes early as he always does and as he switched from his vehicle to Jan’s SUV, we put on our heavy gear and made a last minute check of the house.  7:50am, we were leaving only 5 minutes behind schedule.  The ride to Barbs Harley Davidson would be refreshing and takes about 45 minutes.

The 8:50am arrival at Barbs included a stop to” top off” the tanks and to answer the usual questions from the attendants about where we were riding and how many miles did we plan to ride that day.  When we rolled into the parking lot Barbs staff was already in motion getting things set up.  We immediately spotted our friend and point of contact, Sue Manuel, and was greeted by her with her usual big hug and kiss.

Over the years we and the area motorcycling community have learned that we can always depend on Barb and her staff at Barb’s Harley Davidson to always be on point and today was no exception.  In a matter of minutes we were given an update by Sue and everything was put into motion to get our registration set up and our questions concerning the ride answered.  Jan went into action mode.  This is where she is at her best because she believes so deeply in her organization’s cause.  This is where I fall back and she comes to the forefront.  She leads and I assist as much as possible along with “KC”, Cindy, “AJ” and others that reach out to insure that Jan’s mission of insuring everyone’s awareness of the symptoms of breast cancer is met.  Within an hour Jan was ready for the first arrivals to register.  Tables were set up, placards were hung, patches, pins and scarves, were displayed and people were waiting in line. Jan had asked me to be the Road Captain for the run.  We had negotiated the course twice within the past week along with my best friend Herb Dorsey and “Big T”.  We had identified riders for our road guards and Sue had identified additional riders if needed.  Sue had also made contact with the local police authorities and arranged for the Chief of Police to meet with me later in the morning.  We were ready and Jan and Sue were excited.

The weather is great for October.  Last night brought heavy rains which cast doubts on today’s event.  A tornado even touched down in our neighboring state of PA.   But this morning it felt good.  The streets were still wet from all the rain but the temperature was already approaching the 60s. I could tell that it was going to be a great Autumn day.

10:00am the weather is beautiful.  The sun is out and everyone moves away from the shade of the building to feel the sun’s warmth. Bikers roll in; Our friends from the Christian Motorcycle Club (Light House Chapter) arrive first.  They support this event every year and we do all that we can to support them.  The Defenders come in and I enjoy meeting one of their members,” ICE”. We joked about how “rough” the coffee was.  The Nam Knights were there, our friend “Scooter” from the Blue Knights and of course The Buffalo Soldiers who were there supporting the event and Jan in the capacity of Road Guards.  The Leathernecks were also there but were unable to stay for the ride.  Numerous other motorcycle clubs, independent riders and friends also were there to support the cause of Breast Cancer awareness.  Some of them were themselves survivors just like Jan.  Everyone was greeted warmly and with genuine concern by Barb’s staff and members of Divas For A Cure.

11:45am was the time designated for the Road Captain’s meeting with the road guards.  I gathered the road guards and along with the local Chief of Police we briefed them on exactly how we wanted the run to be conducted.  The Chief had agreed to work with other municipalities to provide coverage for major intersections from Barbs to Evesham Road.  By noon the Chief had confirmed the participation of the other municipalities.  This meant that we would be cleared for all lights and intersections for the first 3 or 4 miles.  From a safety point of view we couldn’t have asked for anything better.  But the remaining 30 miles would be in the care of me, 1 Blue knight (our friend Scooter) and 16 Buffalo Soldiers serving as road guards.12:15pm Jan calls for all riders to come forward for a safety briefing.  At last count we had close to 90 bikes.  Both Sue and Jan addressed the crowd and thanked them for their participation.  Jan also acknowledged those in attendance that were survivors of breast cancer.  They were all applauded.  I addressed the riders and explained the course to them and how it would be negotiated including how the road guards would be used. Once we were assured that everyone understood, we released the riders and gave them 5 minutes to get to their bike and prepare for departure. The road guards donned their safety vests, moved to the front and waited for the signal from the patrolmen to move out.

Herb Dorsey & TC Costley

Herb Dorsey & TC Costley

12:35pm 5 minutes behind schedule we rolled out of Barb’s Harley-Davidson 110 strong including road captain and road guards.  The police coverage to Evesham Road was great.  The whole group moved the 4 miles without interruption.  We turned left on to Evesham and the “Soldiers” took over. Herb Dorsey was in front of the entire group serving as the Point Guard, followed by 14 Buffalo Soldiers road guards and then me as the Road Captain leading, Jan, Sue and all the riders that registered for the event.  For 30 miles the road guards performed flawlessly insuring the safety of the entire group.  At the end of the run the road guards received many compliments from the riders for the professional manner in which they conducted their assignments.  The Chief of Police stated that they performed like “a well oiled machine” without speeding or jeopardizing the safety of the group.  Many riders said that it was the best use of road guards that they have ever experienced.  Everyone arrived safely and without incident and they all enjoyed the ride.  Jan and Sue expressed their sincere thanks from Divas For A Cure and Barb’s Harley-Davidson for the professional actions and safety consciousness of the entire Road Guard Crew led by Road Captain “TC”, and Point Guard, Herb Dorsey.  The members of the New Jersey Buffalo Soldiers (Mother Chapter) were nothing less than outstanding.  We appreciate the support of their President, Larry “BrotherWolf” Bunch, and their members.

The run ended at Pic-A-Lilly where all riders were treated to music, a car show and lots of good food.  The event, at least from this rider’s point of view, was overwhelmingly successful. Of course this rider may be a little prejudice, after all he spends a lot of time at Barb’s Harley-Davidson and he’s married to Divas For a Cure’s Founder and President, Jan a.k.a “Sunny The Diva”.  Happy Anniversary Baby.

Thomas “TC” Costley
Co-Founder & President
United States Black Cavalry Family (USBCF)

Click here to view more photos on the Divas For A Cure Facebook Photo Gallery

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