It was all about the chrome and leather at the third annual Ruby Bash Rally and Toy Poker Run held Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center south of Franklin on the Georgia Road. The bike rally was a benefit for REACH of Macon County and was sponsored by the Dedicated Bikers of WNC.
According to Karen Flowers, the co-organizer for the event, the Dedicated Bikers of WNC organization was able to donate $500 to REACH of Macon County as well as $300 worth of unwrapped toys, collected from the Poker Run participants and volunteers.
Approximately 30 riders registered for the Toy Poker Run and the fee for the bike run was $20 plus the donation of a toy of equal value. The bikers rode a specific route but did not race. They spent much of the day riding the route, enjoying local scenery.
According to Flowers, the number of participants was double the number of riders from last year. Flowers said that they will continue collecting toys throughout the fall and holiday seasons.
Flowers also said that “the reason for the efforts and determination in the organization of this kind of an event comes easy. Our hobby has turned into a passion because of its potential to bring people together for a good cause.”
Bill and Linda Lorenz retired to Franklin from Florida. The couple were at the event with the Christian Motorcyclists Association. The Lorenzes said they do not ride as much as they used to but they still have a good time. “We enjoy it,” Linda said. “It is a lot of fun.” Bill has two bikes that he occasionally rides on various trips, and his wife in the side car.
Contests were held for the Loudest Bike, Best in Show and the Toy Poker Run. When it came time to judge the loudest bike contest, Donna Majerus, one of the local vendors at the event, proudly joined the fun with her handicap scooter made up to resemble a motorcycle. Majerus was unanimously voted the winner.
Other event winners included Dave Monroe from Rabun, Ga. for Best in Show and Eddie Swafford of Franklin won the Toy Poker Run. Swafford donated the $100 cash prize back to the organization to be given to REACH.
A new event was added to the Ruby Bash Rally this year as well. “We opened the gate for free admission after 7 p.m. for the first annual Ruby Bash Rally Band Competition,” Flowers said, “and the crowd doubled.” The winner of the band competition was Faded Wreckage from Georgia, which received $150 and a plaque.