HOW IT ALL BEGAN
COMBINING A PASSION FOR LONG DISTANCE RIDING WITH THE SPIRIT TO SUPPORT WATER FOR PEOPLE
Bill and I decided to forgo the business-as-usual plane ride down to the AWWA national convention in 2005. Instead we would head out on our bikes, one Harley and one Honda, for one of the most scenic rides in the country; Down the Washington, Oregon, and California coast from Seattle to San Francisco. And what a trip it was!
While at the convention, a couple caught me wearing one of my Harley shirts from the Low Country Harley Davidson Dealership in South Carolina.
“Hey Harley guy, hey Harley guy” they called out, as I walked away from the coffee shop in the hotel.
I had not yet had my morning coffee (a necessity for us Seattle folks) so it took me a while to figure out they were talking to me. As it turns out these folks were from North Carolina and had just purchased their bikes from the same dealership whose shirt I was wearing. How is that for a coincidence? We had a great conversation and I jokingly asked them why they didn’t ride to the conference as well. After a bit we both parted ways with me heading up to the room to change for the ride home, and they to the airport. Little did I know a seed was planted with that brief encounter.
Bill and I hooked up for the ride home. Nearing the end of our journey back we stopped for the night in Salem, Oregon. After having a few beverages of choice, I looked over to Bill and said, “Next year is San Antonio, are you up for it?” He clearly had as many “Diet Cokes” as I did and he readily agreed.
A month or so later my thoughts went back to the conversation with that couple from North Carolina. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if folks like that knew our route and could have joined us somewhere along the way. I called Bill.
“What if we post our ride route to San Antonio on some website for people to see, and maybe some others would join in?" Bill thought it was a fine idea, and he quipped jokingly (I think), that we could form our own AWWA Motorcycle committee, as they seemed to have a committee for most everything else! Then one day it hit me. Why don’t we organize a ride from several parts of the country and folks from all over could join. Wow, what would that be like heading into San Antonio! When we added the part about each rider getting donations for $1 per mile for Water For People the idea really took hold. We knew it was something we had to do.
With everyone's hard work we have currently raised one half a million dollars in donations! The rest is both history, and the future, with another incredible ride to come next June.
THE ORIGINAL BUFFALO
Bill has been riding motorcycles since before he drove cars. He is an engineer for Brown and Caldwell in Seattle (32 years with the firm), and has been married to his wife of 42 years (Rita), with two grown sons living nearby. Aside from riding, Bill enjoys most outdoor activities common in the Northwest and serves as a weekend volunteer conductor, brakeman, and fireman at the local Snoqualmie Valley Historic Railroad.
Ken has been in the water and wastewater business for nearly 30 years. Currently he is the General Manager of the Woodinville Water District in Woodinville, Wa. The District provides water and wastewater services to nearly 45,000 customers. Ken enjoys the outdoors, a requirement of the Pacific Northwest, and spends a lot of time both mountain biking and road cycling. In fact given that he owns 4 bicycles, and two motorcycles he spends a lot of time on two wheels. Ken has been married to his amazing wife Anne for 30 years and they have two adult children; Karli, living in California, and Christopher living in Washington.