MOTORCYCLE MEMORIAL RIDE
On April 28, 1992 Rick Franklin a long time member of the Muskoka H.O.G.® Chapter passed away. On the first Anniversary of Rick’s passing, Ron Martin a member of the Muskoka H.O.G.® Chapter and a good friend of Rick’s decided to do a memorial ride in his memory.
When the word got out about the ride, “Hap” Harold Wilson from the Oshawa H.O.G.® Chapter who was also Rick’s brother-in-law asked if the Oshawa H.O.G.® Chapter could join the ride as Rick had long ties to the Oshawa area.
It was decided then that with May being motorcycle awareness month that it was only fitting to have the ride during the month of May. The first “Rick Franklin” Memorial Ride was Sunday May 30th, 1993.
The riders from the Oshawa area would ride to Huntsville and meet up with the Huntsville group. Then the whole group would ride to Oshawa to a local restaurant to celebrate Rick’s life.
The ride continued on this way, always the last Sunday in May for several years, until the Muskoka H.O.G.® Chapter lost another one of its members in a motorcycle accident. At that time Vern McCullough’s name was added to the memorial and thus the list began. All motorcyclist no matter what their brand who has lost their life either due to accident or sickness will be added to the Memorial List.
The Memorial Ride has been kept alive for the last several years largely due to the efforts of Jim Kavanaugh and Marg Hammond who were long time members of the Muskoka H.O.G.® Chapter and Howard Siddall of the Durham H.O.G.® Chapter.
Although the format of the ride has changed over the years, the purpose and the date remain the same. Jim Kavanaugh has made arrangements with Kelsey’s Restaurant, 405 Memorial Ave., Orillia as the meeting place for the riders to gather. Each group rides from their area and gathers at Kelsey’s around noon on the last Sunday in May each year. At 1:00 o’clock Jim gives a short description of the Memorial Ride, its purpose and meaning. Then Marg Hammond who is in charge of the Memorial List reads the names on the list.
The year 2013 was the 21st Anniversary of the Memorial Ride, and there are now 85 names on the Memorial List.
Many of the riders at this year's ride expressed an interest in making the Memorial Ride a yearly Chapter ride. Harry Gauthier the director of the Huronia H.O.G.® Chapter has generously offered his time to do this web page.
If you would like to add any names to the Memorial List please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
* H.O.G.® = Harley Owners Group®