Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads is known for his emotional speeches and he had to prepare another one for today. Rhoads addressed a luncheon in West Des Moines to promote next month’s “A Ride to Remember” motorcycle event which raises money for the Alzheimer’s Association. It is a cause that is personal to the coach. “I lost my mother in July of 2011, but she was taken from us much earlier than that,” Rhoads says. “That’s what this disease does, it’s a thief. It robs people, it robs people of time, of memories, and it’s very personal and very painful. And everyone that will be here today will have experienced that same level of pain.”
Rhoads says being involved with the Alzheimer’s Association and meeting people affected by the disease is part of the healing process for him. “Hearing so many people’s different stories and impacts that this dreadful disease has had — a parent, and in-law, a grandparent a friend, a former school teacher — hearing all the different perspectives and how far reaching this horrible disease is,” Rhoads says.
The ride begins at Jack Trice Stadium on June 22nd. It will be the fifth year Rhoads has hosted the event which began with 50 bikes. He says they’ve had up to 750 riders and over 500 motorcycles and their goal is 1,000 riders and $100,000 dollars raised. “And I think that is attainable.”
Rhoads says he is pleased with how quickly the event has grown and remembers being shock when he saw the number of motorcycles in the parking lot a couple of years ago. He says he was overwhelmed that day after being busy at work and by the time he arrived he saw all the people and motorcyles.
It costs $35 dollars per person to take part in the ride.