Twenty Years of Miracles at Miracle Ride

A popular phrase uttered amongst those in the motorcycle riding community is, “If you don’t ride in the rain, you don’t ride.” This was never truer than at the 20th annual Miracle Ride, benefitting Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts (including me) mounted their bikes and rode into the spitting rain that descended into much of the Midwest, to raise money for the children at Riley.

Motorcyclists gather for the 2013 Miracle Ride

Gray skies and rain clouds washed out much of the motorcycle drag racing and ran many of the faithful away from a scheduled concert on Friday, but as if it was meant to be, the 100 percent chance of showers on Saturday held off. The system that was sure to produce severe weather in Indianapolis barely resulted in enough moisture to fog a biker’s goggles. The turnout at the Eitlejorg museum, one of the stops on Saturday’s poker run, proved that no rain would be enough to dampen these biker spirits.

While picking up poker run stamps, one gentleman who had several Miracle Ride patches on his leather vest was nearly drawn to tears recanting the loss of his child to leukemia at Riley seven years ago. He has ridden in the event ever since. His story, while moving, was not unique. Many of those who rode in the event had some connection to Indiana’s first and only nationally ranked comprehensive children’s hospital.

The Bridegroom family from northwest Indiana, for example, served as ambassadors for the Miracle Ride this year. Phoenix Bridegroom was taken to an immediate care with flu-like symptoms. The family was referred to their local ER where she was diagnosed with leukemia and a brain hemorrhage. She was flown by Lifeline helicopter straight to Riley Hospital, where her life was saved.

Phoenix’s father John, a member of the Widows’ Sons Masonic Riders activated his entire chapter, bringing dozens of riders and thousands of dollars to the event from all across Indiana in honor of his daughter and Riley.

Those riders joined thousands of others for Sunday’s Big Ride. The ever-present and ominous clouds continued to loom overhead, but the miracles of Miracle Ride continued this day. Just as the final bars of the National Anthem were sung, clouds parted over a colossal U.S. flag suspended by two IFD ladder trucks and the thunder roared. This time, however, the thunder was not coming from the sky, but from the thousands of machines poised to make the ride from Allison Transmission’s parking lot, through the Riley campus,
around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and to Lucas Oil Raceway; all for the kids!

Not one drop of rain fell on the participants until the ride was complete and the final engine quiet. It was truly another miracle event and brought the lifetime total donation from the event to Riley to more than $4 million.

For more photos and video of the Miracle Ride, or to find out how you can get involved with Miracle Ride 21, go to


About Matt Keller

Matt is the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Riley Children's Foundation. He has participated in Miracle Ride several times, and enjoys sharing Riley events with supporters through social and digital media.
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