IAAPA Motorcycle Ride Rolls into Expo Week
by Scott Fais
Revving engines on two wheels cut through a misty morning to open the 10th Annual IAAPA Motorcycle Ride early Sunday morning.
“It’s so amazing to see these riders come out here bright and early on the first day that kicks off IAAPA Expo,” said Pam Landwirth, president and CEO of Give Kids The World.
Over the past decade, IAAPA members on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles have raised more than $350,000 for Give Kids The World.
“It’s a wonderful organization that does wonders for children with critical illnesses,” said Tom Sheehan, IAAPA Motorcycle Ride planner. Give Kids The World Village provides week-long, cost-free vacations to children with critical illnesses and their families who wish to visit Orlando’s attractions. The motorcycle ride brings together IAAPA members who share a passion for the open road two days before the trade show floor opens. This year, 33 riders participated, as well as four chase cars.
“It’s a busy week, but the best thing is starting on a note where you can understand what our industry is really about—which is caring for people and making lifetime experiences for people,” said Jim Seay, president of Premier Rides, whose company has participated since the inception of the ride.
Sheehan surprised participants by announcing the first stop along Sunday’s route would include an off-limits destination: the Ripley’s warehouse, chock-full of artifacts and one-of-a-kind oddities. Curators of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! collection came into the warehouse on Sunday morning to lead tours for the motorcyclists.
Following, the group rode north to picturesque Lake County, Florida, for lunch in Mount Dora. Known for its boutiques, art galleries, and turn-of-the-century architecture, Mount Dora is a favorite escape from city life in Orlando.
“There is no better way to start a week of pretty intense business by focusing on what’s the heart and soul of our industry,” Seay said of the ride, which marks the 25th anniversary of IAAPA’s relationship with Give Kids The World.