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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A Fathers Day Bike Ride to Bring Muskegon Together Starts at Rad Dad's

You never know where inspiration might hit you.  Quite often, when you least expect it and from the least likely of sources, an idea comes along that you didn't even know needed attention and from there, the steps are up to you.  Such is the case when Matt Gongalski of Rad Dad's Taco's and Tequila in Downtown Muskegon.

Out on a family bike ride, Matt and his crew met up with a group of kids who were also out for a ride.  Pretty typical, right?  It would seem until the conversation between the two groups switched to who made up the "riding posse" in each group.  It seems the group of kids we utterly shocked to find out that a family actually went out for a ride together.  "You're the dad?"  Was the question asked and the kids just couldn't believe that parents were out riding with kids.  Yes, we're all busy and yes.. it sure isn't the 50's anymore and the dynamic of "family" is an ever evolving term.  But to see the look of shock on a child's face that somehow a father actually had the time and desire to spend the day riding bikes....that created a spark in Matt and got him to thinking.

Can You Chip in to Help Buy a Kid a Bike?  Click Here.
Some may never understand what it is to have a single parent, or to maybe have two parents working so much to make ends meet.  For others, it's simply a reality.  Life is a challenge to say the very least and when the need for more than one job or the fact that parents can't get along gets added to the mix, you get questions like "You're the dad?".  Not here to shame anyone or to point any fingers but for those who do struggle, it's good to know that the community can come together over a spark of an idea and make some of that insecurity a little less painful.

Matt his social media a week or so ago with the idea of all of us coming together to raise a few bucks to buy 100 bikes for 100 kids.  Bikes would come with helmets, locks and everything else they would need.  To say the idea took off like wildfire...a gross understatement.  Hundreds got on board almost immediately and from there, some local companies took quick notice and offered up what they were willing to do to pitch in.....and all of the sudden, that spark turned into a reality and on Fathers Day bikes, kids, families and friends will gather at Rad Dad's in Downtown Muskegon to kick off a bike ride.

I stopped in to Rad Dad's to talk to Matt about the endeavor.... take a listen.

It takes a village they say.  It also takes just a little from all of us to make something so incredible come to life.  A bike is great, that's for sure but the message we'll send here is so much more.  To that kid who wonders why their parent might not be able to take a bike ride with them, well.....this is our chance to say "we got ya".  This is our chance to weave the fiber of community a little tighter and work to build a little trust among the young and old, (well, older), and it's a way for all of us in Muskegon to show the rest of the world that we truly are a community that looks out for everyone and we truly care.  Congrats to Matt and his idea.  He's a pretty humble guy, and I know that making a fuss was really the last thing he was after, but this is hopefully the first of many to come and it's what we believe in here too.  Pride in all of us.  Follow the Bike Ride Event Page by clicking below.

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