On June 2nd, Grass Valley welcomes the return of Ride Annie Ride. The event originated so 28 year old Annie Goeden, a victim of Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) could enjoy a day of riding with a few friends. She’d never been on the back of a Harley-Davidson before and thought it would be a fun experience.
To her surprise, 99 motorcycles of all shapes and sizes thundered into her sleepy neighborhood town (Yuba City) and down her street. The Channel 10 News and local newspaper, the Appeal-Democrat, were on hand to record this special event. Annie was all smiles, sitting in her wheelchair counting the endless stream of motorcycles. In stage 4 of this deadly disease, Annie’s left leg had already been amputated and she was doing her best to remain cheerful for her three-and-a-half year old son, Jake.
It was amazing to see the connection some of these large, brazen bikers made with our Annie. Many were reduced to tears as they met her and gave her hugs. She was a special lady. The group mounted up and roared off into the foothills of the Sutter Buttes, the world’s smallest mountain range. Annie swayed to the music blaring from the cd player of the Harley she rode on, her smile as genuine as the girl herself. It was a day all of us who attended will never forget.
The ride ended at Sam Brannon Park with a hearty barbecue and time for friends to mingle and get to know Annie and her family better. A group photo was a fitting end to the journey, and a large check was presented to Annie made up from generous donations of those participating in the event. On this day we made a difference in the life of someone special. There is no better feeling.
Annie is no longer with us but this year young Hayden Elliott, 11 years old with a similarly infectious smile, and sadly the same horrible disease, will join us in her honor. Proceeds from this year’s event will go to helping Hayden and his family in their time of need. Like Annie, Hayden too has lost a leg, (below the knee) and his beautiful mom, Megan, also has cancer but fights the good fight everyday.
These are extraordinary people who need our help. We’ve found the motorcycling community to be a generous bunch and we’re proud to be among them. If you wish to attend Ride Annie Ride II, or make a contribution, please see the attached flyer for contact information.
Enjoy the ride…