A Central Illinois Motorcycle group rode on Sunday to raise awareness about hospital frontline workers. Harley Riders of Springfield, Illinois rode from White Oaks Mall to Passavant Area Hospital this past weekend to rally awareness and show thanks for hospital workers on the front lines each and every day.
Mel Henson of the Harley Riders of Springfield said anyone is welcome to ride with any bike during their awareness rides to show support for those placing their lives on the line every day. “We just feel that these people that are serving us every day at the hospitals and putting themselves out there, which they have done for years not just doing COVID-19. People have overlooked what they do for us. The workers should know that we support them and think about them having to almost be forced to go into an environment that’s risking their health every day just to take care of us – they are people like us. We know from sitting at home that people are feeling depressed about the way things are, and I’m sure the workers are, too. I mean more so than us. They need our support. They need to know we’re out there. They need to know we care. That’s why we do what we do.”
Henson says the rides are simply to raise awareness for healthcare workers and no money is being raised or changing hands. Despite the weather on Sunday, Henson said they still managed to get about 50 bikes for the ride that traveled from Springfield down Route 4 to Auburn and then on Route 104 through Waverly into Jacksonville. Henson said in a follow up message today that the group only got about half of the expected riders due to the lack of cooperation from the weather.
The Harley Riders of Springfield membership covers Sangamon, Morgan, Scott, Greene, and Macoupin counties. Henson says his group is truly open to anyone wishing to join and not just Harley riders. They accept all bikes and anyone wanting to join. He says they currently have 821 members and that the event for Jacksonville was shared across 30 other motorcycle clubs in the area. He says the ride was done last year and that 65 bikers showed. He hopes to do the ride for other hospitals in the area soon.