By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Riders at this year’s Dixie Thunder Run were a bit distracted by the $80,000 two-wheeled beast that most of them hoped would be theirs in November.
The annual motorcycle rally, set up to provide financial assistance to soldiers and their families, was a good chance to check out the hand-built, custom-painted motorcycle being raffled off during the last ride on Nov. 19 in Tunica. Despite already having motorcycles of their own, riders huddled around the silver bike, admiring everything about it and saying they would win it in the raffle.
Mike Reece has made the ride from Tupelo to Chunky River Harley Davidson in Meridian the past two years. A retired serviceman, Reece said he never needs motivation to crank his bike up and ride to help soldiers and their families but he admits the chance of winning the bike added some incentive.
“It’s a gorgeous machine and it’s being raffled off for a great cause,” said Reece. “If this bike is what it takes to raise money for our guys and their families, then it was well worth me buying 10 tickets.”
Tickets sold for $10 each.
“Who says bikes are just for boys?” read a T-shirt worn by Cynthia Sanders, who also had her eye on the bike.
“My fingers are crossed just as tightly as the boys for this thing,” said Sanders as she ran her hand across the handle bars. “This is the best bike they’ve raffled off since I’ve been riding in the Thunder Run. I would love to park it in my garage.”
New this year for the Thunder Run, two extra rides were added. The first took place during Memorial Day and more than 2,000 riders participated. Saturday’s was the second race with more than 1,000 participating. The run will end on Nov. 19 in Tunica where the group 3 Doors Down will throw a concert for the riders. The bike will be raffled off that day.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at www.Dixiethunderrun.net for $10.