Lexington Moose Riders take a special ride

The Lexington Moose Riders gather for a picture before leaving on their ride to New Orleans.
The Lexington Moose Riders gather for a picture before leaving on their ride to New Orleans.(WDBJ7 Photo)
Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:05 PM EDT
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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Out at the Lexington Moose Lodge, there are members who like to get together and ride their bikes. They’ve even got colors, showing they are the Moose Riders. But Wednesday, they set out on a special ride

“I appreciate everything, everyone coming out here,” Austin Leonard said. “It means a lot.”

He’s the son of Moose Rider Vice President Eric Leonard, and for him, they’re going the extra mile, or maybe a thousand.

“We’re taking Route 11 most of the way,” Eric Leonard said. “And most people don’t realize that Route 11, one of the older roads in the country, goes all the way to New Orleans.”

Yep, New Orleans, for the Shrimp and Grits Ride for the Cure, raising money to help Austin and contribute to research on brain cancer. Brain cancer, because that’s what’s Austin is fighting.

“You call up your Dad, and you go: ‘They just gave me a terminal diagnosis,’” Austin remembered. “How do you tell your family that?”

“We were completely devastated. Interestingly enough, we were at another motorcycle event when we got the call from Austin saying that he had a brain tumor,” Eric said, then paused to gather himself. “And, it’s hard. It’s really hard. It hurts. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

But today, there’s something he can do about it, along with some friends.

“We just put the word out online, and phone calls,” Moose Riders President Gene Reynolds said. “And you see the group of people that showed up to show their support and they’re love, you know.”

“It’s real comforting and then to see how many people that I have no connection that just show up, that just want to help.” Austin Leonard said,

And go that extra mile.

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