Today we joined up with a couple of hundred other bikers for a Toy Run - a charity ride where all the scary bikers turn into Santa's Little Helpers by strapping a toy of some sort to their bike and riding to, in this case, a women's shelter to deliver Christmas presents to kids who may not see any other sign of Santa this year.
We must've been doing a good thing because the Weather Gods were smiling on Dublin today. The overnight ice on the roads had pretty much melted by the time we set off, and the day remained dry and sunny. Well over a hundred bikes gathered in Dorset Street, where a van liberated us of the toys so that we could get down to the serious business of the Mass Ride. It was very late in starting, as Santa himself was over an hour late in getting there and we couldn't very well start without him. Eventually he arrived, all red and jolly, sitting in a sidecar, chauffeured by what appeared to be a Russian (?!) officer, complete with medals on his chest and a furry hat.
The ride took us through the center of Dublin, down O'Connell Street, around the block and back over the River Liffey onto the Northside quays, up past Dublin Port and along the coastal road to Howth. The procession caused chaos in the traffic - in order for hundreds of bikes to ride together the rest of the traffic, unfortunately, simply has to wait. While the car drivers cursed us, however, everybody else seemed delighted to watch the spectacle.
I always get a kick out of waving at the kids when we do these mass rides but today I had to relinquish my waving duties to young Cinderella, who was perched on what used to be my seat on the back of Hubby's Blackbird.
Because you see today was the first time I Drove My Own Bike in a mass ride - that's me, below, on the right :-)
Oh and in case you hadn't figured it out yet, the perch on the back of Hubby's Blackbird comes with the added job of being chief photographer.
Hubby and I didn't complete the trip for logistical reasons - said final destination was on the other side of the city from where we were, and even further from where we live, and it was already heading to sunset by 3:30pm. By the time we got home we were really pleased we'd made that choice - as the sun sank so did the temperatures and we were all shivering through our layers of bad-ass biker clothing when we finally came to a slippery halt outside our front door.
But it sure was a great way to spend a day. Bikers to the bone - always have been, always will be, and wouldn't change it for the world!