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2008 All the Way Gang

If you click on the link below you will get a wonderful log of our trip thanks to Eric Jones from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Page 82 is the End of the Ride at Santa Monica Pier.

Founder:  "Ride for the Relay"
I started the FUNdraiser in 2006.  I continue to be the leader and hope to for many years.  Retired in 2005 from the Trailer (horse, livestock, flatbed gooseneck & etc.) manufacturing industry but continue to help my wife (Sue) with her business, Time Square Sewing Complex in Jacksonville, Illinois.  We have been married for five years.  I have two children from my first marriage and Sue has three children from a previous marriage.  Together we have 6 grand children.  Sue and I are both 23 year cancer survivors.  I bought my first motorcycle in 1963, a 250cc Honda, while in the Air Force, stationed in Japan.   In my own words:  I have been on a lot of rides over the years.  Long rides and short, little groups and big groups.  This is three trips on Route 66 and I can't hardly wait until next year.  All the riders on this fundraiser have a tremendous spirit about them, they have a real concern about each other and about finding a CURE for cancer.  I don't think we were a group of bikers, I think we were a congregation.  If you would like to contact me about the ride:

Ed Tokarz is a member of the 2007 Hall of Fame.  This year his wife Ann has joined on the trip.  Ed and Ann are from Fredericksburg, Va.  They were the Pride of the Ride with the new Stallion they were driving. They have been married for 45 years and have 3 children and a bird named Budd.  Their oldest daughter, Lori, lives in Gloucester, VA with her husband Greg and numerous animals, birds and fish. Jeff the middle child (died in a CH-46 helicopter crash in 1988) a good Marine.  Bobby, the youngest (a former Marine) lives in Temecula, California with his wife, Robyn, four youngsters and two dogs.  Ed & Ann have a total of 6 grandchildren and 1 great grandson.  Lori has 1 son, and a grandson, Jeff had one daughter and Bobby has 4 children (2 girls & 2 boys).  Ed is still working for the US Marine Corps as a Logistics Supervisor.  Ann retired two years ago with over 25 years as a civilian Marine, also in Logistics, the planning, buying, supporting, training and maintenance part.   Ed has been riding for 50 years.  Ann started riding some when dating Ed in high school, he was riding a 1948 Harley at that time.  He had a Honda 305 in Okinawa, and bought his first Honda Goldwing in 1985, got his second Goldwing in 1993, he got it free, brought it home in several boxes,  it had belonged to a friend, and had been hit by a truck while it was being trailered,  looked pretty sad in those boxes.  He spent  several months putting it back together and sold it for $6,000.  He bought another new Goldwing, beautiful dark green in 1997, which he kept until July 2008, sold it after he bought the Stallion.  He was quite upset when it went down the driveway and he wasn't on it.   It is now in NC with a wonderful couple who are enjoying it as much as we did.  In Their Words:  We have made numerous long and short trips over the years, but alot since we lost our son in , 1988, takes your mind off your loss.  Our first long trip was to Lake George, NY with friends from PA, we had a tent and all our necessities strapped on the bike, that was a sight, nearly froze to death, it was down in the 30's at night, and no heater for the tent.  We went to Sturgis for the 50th Anniversary, it was alot of fun, but also a learning experience.  Rode to Key West with Lori, she had Scott on the back of her Goldwing, he was only 5 at the time, and Bobby, we all had a good time, we were still camping in a tent camper then, no hotels, now only hotels.   We rode with Lori & Greg a few years ago to Canada, don't camp in a tent up there, the tiger mosquitoes can crawl through a tiny crack, and they love American blood, that's another story.  There are so many stories I could go on for a long time, but will stop now.  The longest trip we have taken was in September 2008, with some of the greatest people we will ever meet.  It was so much fun getting to know all of you, and hope we will meet again soon.  It was a great group to ride long distance with, everyone worked well together.  Thanks Roger for pulling this all together, and keeping it running smoothly, even though you were in pain alot of the time.  Hope to see everyone in February.  Will they ride again next year?  Don't know yet, our daughter wants to go now, so we will have to see, it is a long way off right now. You can congratulate Ed & Ann on their ride at:  


Dick and Mary Schultz came on the ride from Verona, Wisconsin.  They have been married 46 years and have two daughters and three grandsons.  Dick is a retired Field Service Man and Mary worked at Madison Newspapers in the dispatch department.  In their words:  As for years riding it started late in life, I did not have a motorcycle when I was young but around 1999 I decided to learn to ride and took a class at our tech school and got my motorcycle license. We started out with a 400 cc Honda but I did not feel safe with my wife on the back so we bought a 1982 Honda Silver Wing with a sidecar. That gave me more confidence and we moved up to a 1984 Gold Wing with a sidecar. We took this bike and camping trailer to the Black Hills of South Dakota for our first long ride. Mary decided that she liked riding behind me on the bike instead of in the sidecar so we bought a 1990 Gold Wing with a CSC trike kit and in 2005 we purchased our present trike a 2004 Gold Wing with a Trike Shop kit. Trips we took:  As for bike trips, we have been to the Black Hills twice, the Blue Ridge Parkway twice, around Lake Superior, and now two trips to the west coast one about two years ago and the last one with the wonderful group on The Ride For The Relay. Most of our trips have been just the two of us.  Will we ride next year:   Will we ride next year is kind of hard to answer at this time. We will sure try to make the trip again but next year is a long way off and a lot could happen by then. I will tell you one thing if possible we both would like to take the trip again with all the gang.  A personal touch:  I would just like to add that we enjoyed the trip very much.  We could not have picked a better bunch of people to ride with.  Everyone was friendly, helpful and dedicated to the cause.  We would like to ride with them again and invite them to visit if they get in the Madison, WI area.  Thanks again and may God Bless, Dick and Mary, you know the two old people on the Titanium Trike with the camping trailer.  You can congratulate Dick & Mary on their ride at:


Buzz & Marinan Brewer came on the ride from Dothan, Alabama.  I can't say enough about people like this, they are just great.  Marinan really made my life much easier this trip.  Not only did she have patches made but she also keep track of everyone for me, getting their eMail addresses and just doing the things I couldn't.  Thank you so much.  In Their Words:  We were Married 8/ 21/2001.  His late wife died in 1999 and my late husband died in 1997 and the Lord put us together with the help of mutual friends.   I have two grown children and he has two grown children.   I have 3 grand sons in Altadena, Ca.  I am retired from Falcon Cable Co, in Athens, Al.  I was the office manager for 14 years.  Buzz still makes SAWDUST as he has a one man custom woodworking shop.  He makes custom molding, turnings, etc.  If you can buy it at Lowe's -- don't come to him to make it. He does a lot of molding for remodeling jobs.  If you can't find a piece of trim to match it,,,he can make it for you!!!  He works just enough for us to have RIDING MONEY!   He has been riding for over 50 years but I just started when he and I married in 2001.  We have enjoyed this beautiful country by riding to Alaska in 2004 (going back in 2009) and all out West.  WE did Nova Scotia, New Foundland and Prince Edward Island earlier this summer and Feb 2007 we did a motorcycle tour in Australia.  That was the highlight of our trips until Route 66!!!  Will you ride next year?  Don't know just yet but,,,will certainly keep it in mind.  You can congratulate Buzz & Marinan on their ride at:

Don & Karen Browning came on the ride from Decatur, Illinois.  I know they are active in their local GWRRA Chapter. 

In Their Words:  Well, we are both retired.   Don is 64 and I'll be 65 soon.  We've lived in Decatur all our married life.   I do some quilting for Project Linus.  The quilts go to ill/tramatized children.  I am a novice, but am trying to learn.  We love to ride.  We've had the bike converted into a trike, a Hannagan Conversion about 5-6 years ago.  We enjoy riding with others.  We really enjoyed the "All the way Gang".  Everyone was so nice and easy to get along with.  We love riding with our Chapter (I) here in Decatur, IL.  We meet on the  2nd Sat. of the month at Whit's End at 8:30a for breakfast and 9a for the gathering.  We help out where ever we are needed.  Our Chapter along with 8 or 9 others from around the state sell food, etc the 3rd weekend of May at Litchfield, IL. This is our fundraiser for the year.   It's a lot of work and a lot of fun.  We are hoping to go to Fl. after Christmas.  I've had enough cold weather, already.  Ha!!    We have a son who lives in Ca. and a daughter who lives here.   Our son met us at Colton when we got to the hotel.   We have 3 granddaughters that live here and 4 grandson's.  Three live in Ca. and the oldest is on the Army.  He is in Kansas.  We are getting our first great-granddaughter in a week or two.  The second one will be here in early Jan.  So begins a new chapter in our life.  Sorry we won't be at the Banquet in Feb.  Will be thinking of all of you.  Don & Karen Browning.  Will you ride next year?  I didn't get their answer on this question but with the fun they had and the fun we had with them, I am sure we will see them in 2009.  You can congratulate Don & Karen on their ride at:

Ed & Evelyn Davis came on the ride from Somerville, Tennessee.  They have rode all 48 States but this was their first time to ride Old Route 66.  They also have the distinction at 75 years of age being the most senior riders ever.  They were Mom & Pop of the ride.
Ed retired from Coors Brewery in Memphis in 1999 after having by-pass surgery.  Evelyn is a un-retired house wife.  Together they have 5 children and many grand & great grand children.  Ed says this is his last big ride.  He has completed that part of his bucket list.   
You can congratulate Ed & Evelyn on their ride at:



Steve & Melinda Hamstra came on the ride from Zeeland, Michigan.  Melinda was probably the newest to riding long road trips and did great.  A little nervous at times but a real trooper.  They have been married 30 years, have 3 children (youngest is 21) plus 2 dogs and a cat.  No grandchildren.  Melinda is sort of retired - after 6 years as church secretary she decided that she needed a break and is now enjoying being at home.  Steve in not yet retired, he is the Executive Vice President/Director of Sustainability at GMB Architects-Engineers:  a building design firm (GMB is one of our Corporate Sponsors).  Steve rode dirt bikes as a kid, then took a 30 year break from riding.  It's only been 5 years since Steve started riding street bikes.  Melinda has been riding with him for the last 2 years.  In their words:  Our previous "long ride" was a trip two years ago around Lake Superior (around 2,500 miles).  Will they ride next year?  Well, that's a good question.  I guess I would say "Maybe".  The ride was a bit much for Melinda.  We'll see!  A note from Rodger:  I want Melinda to know that our route is going to be just a little different next year.  As the founder of "The Ride for the Relay" I am learning as I go on some of the things that are important.  One of the keys of next years ride is Safety.  I think you will find next years Route will be a little more rider friendly.  I really hope to see you guys next year.  You can congratulate Steve & Melinda on their ride at:


Rich Eltges came on the ride all the way from Holzwickede, Germany.  He is Michael Huhnen good friend.

More information later


Michael Huhnen came on the ride from Holzwickede, Germany.  Michael is a close friend of our Hall of Famer's Ed & Ann Tokarz.  We thank Ed & Ann for inviting Michael and Richard.

More information later


Jim Engling came on the ride from Glen Ellyn, Illinois.  After following behind Steve Conro for a couple days Jim took over when Steve had to turn back.  Jim having Route 66 plugged into his GPS become our leader.  Great job.  Jim is widowed after 26 years.  He has two children and no grandchildren.  He is retired from the Lyons Township High School and has been riding for 30 years.  Will I ride next year?  Most likely.  A note from Rodger:  Jim's answer about going next year was "Most likely".  I really don't know what I would have done without Jim, he was a great leader, a great friend to everyone and just and all around nice person to be around.  Jim Engling & Steve Conro are my Illinois logistic guys, my leaders and my friends, they will go next year.  Please congratulate Jim on his ride and a job well done at:

Gary Gallo came on the ride from Morris, Illinois.  He attracted much attention with the Corvette trailer he was pulling.   Maybe he will send me a better picture.  He has been married for 41 years, has 3 children and 7 grandchildren.  He is retired from Desden Nuclear Power Station.  Gary has been riding for 42 years.  Will I ride next year?  it is a possibility, what are the dates-----A note from Rodger:  We will be leaving Chicago on September 5, 2009 at 9am.  We will not be leaving from The Navy Pier but from a safer more convenient location.  This will all be explained at a later time, we still have 333 days until the next ride.  You can congratulate Gary on his ride at:







Teri Gentile came on the ride from Matlacha, Florida.  She is driving the only Side Car on the trip. Each night she added a special amount of entertainment with her parking lot parties.  I think next year she might be our entertainment officer.





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Clark Graves came from Alton, Virginia.  He is divorced with one son who has completed two tours in Iraq in the Army National Guard.  Clark is a retired Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy Reserve after 26 years and a retired Postmaster with the US Postal Service with 26 years there also. A note from Rodger:  He just don't look that old.  In His Words:  I'm Ride Coordinator for Chapter VA-J GWRRA and have been riding since my CB750F days in 1975.  I rode solo across the U.S. last summer for six weeks to Santa Monica and San Francisco and several National Parks, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas and portions of Route 66, etc. for a total of over 10,000 miles.  I also did a ride with other Chapter J members to Key West in early 2007. I have also ridden to Sturgis, SD for the rallies in 2005 and 2006.  I am a three time survivor of various cancers in the last six years.  Will I Ride Next Year:  Good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise!  What a great bunch of people that traveled with us this year!  You can congratulate Clark on his ride at:


Eric Jones came from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He was my Oklahoma connection and leader of the group through Oklahoma.  I would say that Eric got more sightseeing out of this trip than anyone.  Always a smile and always having fun.  Eric has been married for 38 years and has one daughter and a 4 year old granddaughter.  He is a Field Service Manager for IKON Office Solutions and is wondering if he will ever be able to retire especially if the wrong man gets elected this year.  He has been riding for 6 years. 

In his words:  While I have not experienced Cancer in my family, I am a two year survivor of triple bypass surgery. You are what you eat and I was a big ole fat pig at almost 300 pounds. Since that time I have lost 80 pounds and have gotten into the best shape of my past 30 years. I love riding and I ride to and from work every day that it isn't snowing or icing. I especially love riding in the mountains of Colorado and we go there about every other year. I made some great new friends on this year's ride and I hope to be able to keep up those friendships and meet them again next year. Somewhere along the ride, a wise man said that it was the people that made this ride interesting. The people that don't make the front page of the paper, you find stories about them way in the back. People like Rodger Fox. My hat is off to you Rodger. I am a bit jealous that you can do this every year.  Will I ride next year:  I plan to ride part way next year.  My wife and a few friends have expressed an interest in going, but I cannot afford a two week trip again that soon.  I hope to meet you in Springfield, Illinois in time to have a Cozy Dog or two, and then tag along until Adrian where I plan to have another piece of Ugly Crust Pie.  If you are going to the Unsers, I might even tag along as far as Albuquerque.  If you need a leader through Oklahoma, I will do the deed for you.  If you have your leader from the last year, that's fine, I'll just tag along.  You can congratulate Eric on his ride at:



Jim Nichols came from Quincy, Illinois.  I don't know what I would have done without Jim.  Me having a physical problems, Jim was always there to help with my luggage or whatever I needed.  Jim was married for 38 years.  He lost his wife to cancer March 4, 2005.  Jim has 6 children, 13 grandchildren and 2 great grand children.  He is retired from Quincy Public Schools Transportation Department.  He started riding in 1974 on a 73 Honda 350 Scrambler.  In his words:  Thanks for a great ride.  Meeting a great group of people that got along so well.  Will I ride next year?  I hope to make it.  You can congratulate Jim on his ride at:


Jim Roberts came from Sanger, Texas.  Jim was nicknamed "The Preacher" and gave the Blessing of the Bikes prayer each morning.  He was also a road block and just a fun guy.  He has been married for 47 years, has four children and seven grandchildren.  Jim hopes to retire next year from Oilgear Company (One of our Corporate Sponsors) out of Milwaukee, MN.  He started riding 50 years ago.  In his words:  I Flew Fighters in the Marine Corps, & this was almost as much
fun.  What an adventure!!!  Will I ride next year?  Yes definitely, health providing.  You can congratulate Jim on his ride at:

Joel Shaffer came from Friedens, PA.  Over the days Joel become a good friend not only to me but to everyone.  He was a great Tail Gunner, but I think of all his adventures on this trip, his ride from Santa Monica to Colton, California on I-10 will forever be a memory he will cherish.  Joel has been married to Sharon for 32 years.  They have two sons, Jeremy 31 and Eric deceased 03/17/06.  No grandchildren yet!  Employed in family business - Shaffer Block & Concrete Products.  Partners with dad & brother.  Business founded in 1945 by grandfather.  In his words:  Have only been riding since September 2006.  Getting a bike was wife's idea.  She said we needed something that we could do together that was fun instead of sitting around mourning the loss of our son.  It's hard to get solo seat time on the bike.  She loves to go riding and I love having her along.  After saying yes to my marriage proposal, getting the Wing was her next best idea ever!  Will I ride next year?  As far as next year, I can't make any commitment at this time.  I would like to go, but I don't know if business will allow it. 
You can congratulate Joel on his ride at:

Jerry Thelander came from Castle Rock, Colorado.  He come to Jacksonville, Illinois and spent the night with Sue and I on his way to Chicago.  He drove in rain (cold rain) all day getting to Jacksonville but no complaints from him.  Jerry has been married for 39 years, has two sons and two grandsons.  He retired in 2007 from SKF Bearings, Jamestown, NY.  He has been riding for 10 years.
 In his words:
We moved to Colorado to be near married son with two children.  Lived here since July 07.  I don't believe in trailering a bike that can be ridden so I have put 23K+ on the bike in two riding seasons and hope to break my records every year.  I really enjoyed the ride for cancer research.  What made it so enjoyable was meeting all of you, getting to know you and how everyone was embraced equally even with our various quirks.  Will I ride next year?  I'd like to, but that is a long way off right now, so I can't say definitely.  You can congratulate Jerry on his ride at:


Bruce Williams came from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Being a close friend to Teri (our entertainer), Bruce provided some music, much knowledge of the road and a lighter side to being a part of the group.  Sun burn was never a problem, he just maintained his glow.  Bruce is single and retired from the Postal Service in 2006.  He has a 24 year old son in college, and like most fathers', Bruce is very proud of him.  He has been riding since he was 10 (650 Triumph) and been riding legal since 1978.  In his words:   Rodger it was a pleasure for me to have spent time with you.  I wrote on my application I would ride until the wheels fall off, I take that back I do like a smooth ride but I am in for any ride going.  Will I ride next year?  I will make the ride next year.  You can congratulate Bruce on his ride at:



Bobby "Road Kill" Taylor came on the ride from Murchison, Texas.  He become a good friend to everyone and was able to take all ribbing about riding a Harley very well.  Bobby lost his first wife of 36 1/2 years to cancer and has been married to his second wife (Dixie) for 12 years.  He has two children and five grandchildren.  After 48 years in the Texas oil fields, Bobby retired.  He has been riding since 1949 (59 years).  In his words:   First wife and I road some, But wife #2  and I have road all 50 states and some of Canada. If you would like to read about some of our ride and how I got my wife #2 to ride ( at age of 60 ) go to  press releases, and read about the Funriders there.  Will I ride next year?  Yes, this time both of us.  She said I can't go by myself again.  So put us down for 2.  Also we hope to see all you folks in February if that is when the party is.  I must warn you, Dixie is almost as crazy as I am.  See ya.  Roadkill.  PS:  Squirrels are gooooooood!  You can congratulate Bobby on his ride at: 











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