Chicago Toys For Tots

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It’s become a tradition for my wife and I to support the Toys for Tots ride each year. Though we’d like to ride in the 30,000 bike parade, it would just kill the vintage BMW R69S idling along for two hours up Western. So we now plan a breakfast date for the first Sunday of December and afterwards head with our coffees to Western and Roscoe to cheer on the outrageously holiday-themed bikes that bring donated new toys for less fortunate children to the US Marine Foundation drop off station.

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This year wasn’t too cold and it wasn’t snowing. Not sure why more people don’t come out and watch the parade as it’s far more entertaining than any 4th of July parade.

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Outside a Sox World Series or Bears Super Bowl, not many events bring all races and socioeconomic levels together for a single cause. Everyone is friendly and excited to participate in the parade.

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Besides the worthy cause, lets face it though, it’s all about people watching. Some of the coolest and dumbest bikes and their respective riders combine into a big black leather stew flowing slowly north, beeping, revving and singing their way into the DeVry parking lot.

There, the riders are greeted by Marine Reservists serving beer, coffee and pride.

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We always enjoy mingling with everyone. It’s a great way to see an authentic cross section of real Chicagoans. And every year, we leave with the true meaning of the Holiday Spirit and proud to be from this great American city.

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Click on thumbnails to enlarge.

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