Arctic Attack Stunt Team dazzles MDA Live Ride participants at Soldotna Sports Center Rally.
It is said that there are more motorcycles per capita in Alaska than in any other state in the Union. During Progress Days in Soldotna that number more than triples as bikers from Anchorage, Wasilla, and even Fairbanks sign up to help raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)by riding from Anchorage to Soldotna for a day fun biking events. It all started eight years ago when Barry Matteson the owner of the House of Harley in Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula Harley Davidson, and Denali Harley Davidson came up with the idea of sponsoring a ride from Anchorage to Soldotna that would feature a live radio broadcast from the back of a Harley along the way. The riders would rendezvous at the Soldotna Harley store for a barbeque and music festival and then return to Anchorage. As the event grew in popularity so did the money raised for MDA. Last year during the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon the MDA Live Ride presented Lewis with a check for $47,000. “Our goal was to break the $50,000 mark this year, and they’re over there counting as we speak, and money is still coming in and the girls are still washing bikes, so it’ll be a couple of days before we have our final tally, but it’s looking good,” said Matteson.
More than 300 motorcycles gathered to support MDA Live Ride rally at Soldotna Sports Center.
This year the event attracted so many riders for MDA that the rendezvous point and bike show was moved to the Soldotna Sports Center where over 300 motorcycles lined up in the parking lot to watch a spectacular motorcycle acrobatic demonstration by the Arctic Attack Stunt Team. “They are absolutely incredible, I thought I’d seen it all after riding for more than 40 years, but these guys did things I never thought possible on a motorcycle. I would have been impressed to see something like this in Las Vegas, but today these guys totally knocked my socks off,” comment one rider. “This is a stunt team that we sponsor and they ride mostly our Buehl motorcycles. We sponsor them with the condition that they don’t do it on the street and always ride with proper safety gear. They’ve been practicing and now are available for shows around the State and you can check them out at www.arcticattack.com on line, they do a great show and have a DVD available,” said Matteson.
Michelle Aldana is the program coordinator for MDA and made her first ride down to the Peninsula for the Live Ride, “I’ve been working on this event for 3 months and am happy at the turn out this year. The effort to break MD has been going on for about 50 years, and we are making some great progress and have seen some major break troughs’ this year,” said Aldana. Joining Matteson and Aldana on the Live Ride this year were two MDA kids Luke and Ian, “They came all the way down with us in side cars today and were extremely proud of Ian and Luke. These are the kids we support and do this for. We go to their summer camp and give them rides on our Harleys and in the side cars every summer,” added Matteson. MDA sponsors fund raising events all year round in Alaska, the next planned on the Peninsula is the Fill The Boot drive sponsored by the Central Emergency Services. For more information about helping MDA go to www.mdausa.org.
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