2016 Toys for Tots Charity Ride Video
2016 Toys for Tots Charity Ride – 3:09
In 2014, our MeetUp group started this tradition where we all play Santa Claus for a day. We asked our friends and family to donate toys for the Toys for Tots charity foundation so that they can help bring some cheers for families who are not able to provide toys for their children.
Each year, we are seeing an increase of riders and more importantly, more toys are being donated. Because we bike tour, it is somewhat a novelty to use our panniers and equipment to carry toys rather than the usual camping and traveling gear.
Most people may think that we are traveling the day of the ride, but our outfits and hats reveal that it isn’t any bike tour, but rather, a bike ride with a cause.
The ride starts at San Juan Capistrano’s train station and ends in Oceanside train station with stops in Camp Pendleton to drop off our gifts with the Marines. We travel 32 miles one way on this trip. Our riders either take the train back home after the ride, or they already have their cars waiting for them at Oceanside.
This year we had 8 riders and 2 pups with us. This was the first toy run for several of our riders, so they were excited. We had all sorts of toys for the little ones, as well as for teenagers, as this was a special request from the Toys for Tots organization.
There were even 2 bikes donated by Richard Reyes. I wish we could be there to witness these items getting into the eager hands of respective kids. I suppose that’s logistically complicated, so I am happy to do what I can.
The weather was fantastic as the temperature peaked in the lower 70s and was a bit chilly once we got into Oceanside. We enjoyed a meal together after the ride and did our best to stay warm.
After our meals together, we all went our separate ways feeling proud for our successful mission. Congratulatory good-byes were said, hugs and kisses were given as we all went our separate ways.
Even though this wasn’t an overnight trip, we all had a lot of fun. It was a good way to end our travel season this year. Can’t wait to do this again next year! I’m hoping we get an even bigger group to come with us. If not, a bigger haul!
A big thank you to all who donated the toys, delivered them, and the Marines at Camp Pendleton who accepted the toys. I sure hope this will bring smiles to all the boys and girls in need.