Ride with Juan
On Saturday April 30th, beginning at 8:00 A.M., more than 30 volunteers – aka TEAM RIDE WITH JUAN – came together to carry out what the Bronx Motorcycle and Car Clubs described as a historical event, the likes of which the Bronx has never seen before. The Ride with Juan was the first of its kind to ever happen at Crotona Park and the first motorcycle ride to include the very person they were doing it in honor of. After days and days of rain, the sun shined and the temperature declared that it was finally t-shirt weather.
At approximately 11:00 A.M., Juan was ushered towards Crotona Park East & Charlotte Street, sitting in the sidecar of a volunteer named Sam’s motorcycle, safe in the lap and embrace of his older sister Melinda. He looked majestic and so very proud, clad in a cool leather motorcycle jacket and a shiny black helmet. Meanwhile, the Bikers who showed up to support Juan and take part in the Ride gathered, along with the numerous volunteers and friends and family of Juan, anticipating excitedly the first sight of the Guest of Honor. As Juan approached the park, the applause and cheers grew to a crescendo as Sam and his passengers made they’re way to them. Sam slowed his motorcycle so Juan could take in the energy and love from all of the people that came out that morning just for him. They then rode to the front of the line of 30-40 motorcycles, stopping right behind the police car that would lead the group on Juan’s dream journey. After the well-wishers, paparazzi, media and press had the opportunity to meet, photograph and interview Juan, the Ride with Juan officially began.
The bikes roared their engines, the police car gave the signal and off they went heading towards Orchard Beach. As they traveled the Bruckner Expressway, Highway Police stopped traffic to allow the procession to move forward, and a police car trailed behind the bikers to keep them safe and contained. Just days before, the famous hip hop honcho P Diddy was admonished in the press for receiving an unofficial police escort. But on that day Juan was legitimately being escorted by the NYPD – 42nd Street Precinct, who just like all of us recognized how incredibly special and deserving Juan was of having his dream come true – a true celebrity. After nearly an hour on the open road, the bikers returned to the park and were met by the smell of delicious food cooking on the barbeque and additional friends, family and supporters who came out to celebrate Juan. Judging by the smiles, laughter and happy faces everywhere, the day was an incredible success!
Blissful Bedrooms plans to host a motorcycle ride again next year to celebrate young individuals with disabilities and to raise money for our mission: Spreading love, peace and joy one bedroom at a time. We hope you will support the event and join us for a day of fun!