The Valdosta Daily Times
The 20th Annual Outback Riders Toy Ride will take place Saturday, Dec. 15, bringing Christmas joy to children across our region.
The ride itself is a sight to see, with thousands, yes, thousands of bikers carrying teddy bears, Barbie dolls, G.I. Joe’s, and much more, all to benefit the Salvation Army. There is no fee for the ride except to bring an unwrapped toy for a boy or girl to be donated at the end of the ride.
Bikers start lining up early Saturday morning at the Lake Park outlets parking lot and typically start the ride at 1:30 p.m. There are a lot of bikers and they travel slowly, with police escorts to ensure their safety along the way, so the ride can take a good hour or more for everyone to make it to the Five Points Shopping Center. The bikers travel down Lakes Boulevard and then turn onto S. 41/ S. Patterson for the rest of the ride.
The Salvation Army counts on the Toy Ride to help fulfill the ever present need of those who cannot afford to ensure their children will have a Merry Christmas.
The Outback Riders started this event with just a few dozen friends riding together but over the years, the Toy Ride has grown to include more than 2,000 bikers from across South Georgia and North Florida.
Some dress as Santa, some carry stuffed Santas, some bikes are decked out in lights, and all are festive and full of Christmas spirit.
The Toy Ride is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday, spread Christmas cheer, and ensure that children in need will have something under their tree this year.