Get the motor running, head out on the highway, racing with the wind ….
Residents at Pine Point Center in Scarborough, ME, got the opportunity to be wild when recreation director Belinda Bantly set up a day of motorcycle rides earlier this month.
On a sunny Saturday, 10 members of the Riders of Southern Maine answered her request to give residents a thrill with sidecar trips from the 60-bed Genesis Healthcare facility to Old Orchard Beach and back, about a half-hour jaunt.
Bantly said a resident told her in January how much he missed the motorcycling of his youth, and she reached out to Nik Rempe, the president of the club.
“If (residents) want it, I’m gonna find out a way to do it,” Bantly said. “One really wanted to go for a ride and didn’t think he’d ever be able to and I told him I’d make it happen, and I made it happen.”
The day of the event, named Ride for the Residents, 19 residents went for the rides, four at a time. There were convoys of 10 riders, four with sidecars, and staff members on the backs of some motorcycles. Bantly provided coffee and doughnuts for the club, and with music playing outside the facility entrance, the vibe was relaxed but busy with transfers of residents by Hoyer lifts.
Bantly said she made sure there were sunglasses and sunscreen, blankets (some heated), bug spray and extra jackets. The residents signed all necessary paperwork the day before.
“We were very lucky it went so smooth,” she said.
Bantly said Rempe is open to repeating the ride annually, and said she might add another club. She said the key to the event was the same as with many efforts like this.
“Communication is a key to everything,” she said. “Residents communicating their needs and wants, and me communicating with the locals. I’m all about the rights of the residents.”