NEW PARIS — On a cold fall morning, a group of members of the Riders Motorcycle Club have gathered for a ride.
But this is no ordinary ride.
It’s a week before the club’s big annual event this weekend and the Turkey Creek Enduro, and club members are headed out to check out the course, a long, winding route that snakes around New Paris, through woods, around streams and across fields.
The event is a labor of love for the club and its members. It’s also about much more than racing motorcycles.
It’s about helping the community, according to club member Todd Mikel, a former club president who on this cold October Saturday morning is putting on his riding gear to hit the trails in preparation for this weekend.
This is the 44th year for the event, and money raised will go to help support local first responders. There are two separate events: A family event on Saturday, and another event on Sunday for adults only. The Saturday event gets underway at 10 a.m., with the start time for Sunday’s race slated for 11 a.m.
The local event is part of a series that includes races in Indiana and Michigan, with a season that runs from April to early November.
It’s a different kind of motorcycle racing for a different kind of rider. And it’s the kind of activity that a family can participate in together.
That’s what Ryan Smith of Wakarusa and his son Riley, 17, do.
Ryan Smith has loved motorcycles since he was a kid. Today, he has a street bike he rides when he can — a Suzuki, he stressed — and an enduro bike for weekend events.
Last Saturday, he was helping out the other club members on the ride to look at the course. But this Saturday, he and Riley will be competing on the course.