Thousands of area motorcycle riders and enthusiasts will come together Sunday, Sept. 22, at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., to ride for a common, life-saving cause—to help ensure all babies are born healthy.
More than 5,000 motorcycles are expected to convene for the 19th annual Kansas City Bikers for Babies, the largest and most successful March of Dimes ride in the nation.
Riders meet at Kansas Speedway to set out on a designated, 100-mile route through northeast Kansas, and return for lunch, a bike show and live music. Participants pre-register for a $35 donation at bikersforbabieskc.org or at Kansas Speedway beginning at 8 a.m. on Sept. 22 for $40.
“Seeing the riders set out together in support of the smallest members of our community is always an incredible and inspiring sight,” said Penny Sharp, Bikers for Babies volunteer committee chairwoman. “So many people are affected by premature birth—1 in 8 Kansas City area babies are born prematurely. Riders and event supporters understand that the March of Dimes is working harder than any other organization to find the cause of premature birth and infant mortality.”
Non-riders can show their support by watching and waving from safe areas along the route. Riders will depart Kansas Speedway, traveling south on I-435, then west on K-32 passing through Bonner Springs, and south on 158th Street through DeSoto. The route continues west on 103th Street and north through Main Street in Eudora, before continuing west on K-32 into Lawrence. Riders then head north on U.S. 59 and west on U.S. 24-40 through Perry with a rest stop in Oskaloosa. Riders travel through Oskaloosa, east to McLouth and Tonganoxie, returning to Kansas Speedway by U.S. 24-40 and State Avenue.
In 2012, about 4,600 riders participated, raising $670,000 and bringing the 18-year event fundraising total to $6.23 million. Funds raised by Bikers for Babies support local grants focused on issues related to premature birth and community programs such as NICU Family Support at Saint Luke’s Hospital.