Yup. It's another bunch of big scary bikers doing what they do best. Yup, they are going above and beyond again to help where they can for the benefit of those in need, and they are doing it in a fun way that doesn't cost much, gives people a chance to rally behind their friends who are willing to participate and in the end, help fund direct assistance to people who need the help in their battle against cancer.
The Bitely Boys have been around for 20 years now. Bitely, if you've never been...is a tiny little rural community in Newaygo County up by Woodland Park, Walkerville and Brohman. Best estimate on the population is 1567 people as of this writing. It's truly "Small Town America". Some are more used to it as a spot where the hunting cabin is or maybe it's a place to take a drive to see where family grew up once upon a time. It's rural, quiet and pretty much how they like things up there. Not a bad problem to have if you ask anyone who might like to retreat from the chaos we see pretty much everywhere now a days. You can hear the birds singing, you can see the stars and night and when the club rolls in to town, you can hear a lot of motorcycles.
Motorcycles are usually a pretty good sign. Once you get past the loud pipes and boisterous laughter, there's usually a higher purpose. This is the case with the Bitely Boys. From their Facebook page "Bitely Boys Riders Club has been helping Bitely MI and the surrounding areas for 15 years. We participate in many charities, and help families in need. We are very proud of our charitable contributions and how far this riders club has come. You do not have to ride to join the club, anyone who would like to help the community is encouraged to join! However, you must be a rider and participate in club activities and help when asked upon in order to receive a patch. This is voted on. We Start every meeting with the pledge of allegiance, and we honor our veterans with a memorial that can be seen at the cemetery corner of 15 mile and Bingham. Come join us in helping others and being selfless!"
Well, every couple of years, the bearded members of the Bitely Boys have a little friendly competition among themselves. They work to raise money for people stricken with cancer by collecting donations to shave off their beards. Now, coming from a guy who can't grow thick enough facial hair to cover anything, it seems like an insurmountable task. But, there are much more manly men who's face can sprout a forest of hair and it just becomes part of their identity. So much so, that when you see them without one, it's shocking. So, that's their give. The take immaculate care of the whiskers for a couple years, then shave them off and see who's who when it comes to raising some money for being shorn. This has extended too! There are even some of the members kids who set out a couple years ago to participate and have been growing their hair to donate after the fundraising to help make wigs for those who need them during their cancer fight. You getting the idea that we're on to another event that will be a lot bigger in a few years? We are too. That's how these simple events start. Something from the heart to help and as things catch on..... they grow and before you know it...it's just what everyone does.
Cory Nelson is one of the Officers with the Bitley Boys club. We met up to talk about the event, learn a little more about their work around this and the other events they hold during the year and how they all work to follow what the statement above is all about. Helping in a humble and thankful way to those in need. Take a listen.
A pretty selfless act that adds up a a lot of fun for the club as well as a lot of ways for them to help others in a time of need. Big bonus points for the Christmas stuff too!! We've been around so many riding clubs and so many organizations who "on the surface" seem well, different. All it takes, is one peek behind what makes any of us different, and it's pretty easy to see that we're all pretty much the same. How we go about doing what we do for the greater good...who cares? It gets done, and with the Bitely Boys, not only does it get done, it gets done while having a great time for the right reasons. You can click on the photo below to learn more about the club and it's members. Our thanks to Cory for joining us today.