Ride to Provide a 'blessing'

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By Jenna McKenna

U.S. 19 looks like a pretty big piece of road, at least until both northbound lanes are crammed with motorcycles - some 275 of them. Cars and trucks waited, and their drivers stared, as a mile-long parade of chrome, fringed leather and flames flowed through the tiny U.S. 19-State Road 24 interchange into Otter Creek Saturday morning.

These riders were looking for a little water, some shade, and a lovely picnic lunch to fortify them for another lively hour on the road. In a dicey month of storms, where no nice day is guaranteed, sunny skies smiled on Saturday's Ride to Provide to benefit the Levy Association for Retarded Citizens.

This is the third year volunteers have put on the Ride to Provide, a benefit that combines a long satisfying ride, good food and riders' knowledge that they can contribute to the operating expenses of the Tri-County's only service center for mentally handicapped adults.

Organizer Lt. Sean Mullins of Levy County Sheriff's Office, a longtime motorcycle enthusiast, said the ride had come off beautifully.

"We've just been so blessed," he said. "We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day, or more wonderful people."

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