Family oriented riding club visits Oakhurst

Nearly 60 motorcycles and 100 members of the Southern Cruisers Riding Club (SCRC) rolled into Oakhurst and Yosemite last weekend, with eyes on a return trip for the organization’s national gathering June 2-5, 2016.

“We’re expecting more than 500 members and about 400 bikes for next summer’s gathering,” said State Officer Brian “Producer” Eveland.

Last weekend’s group, primarily from Southern California, held a poker run around Bass Lake on Friday, and made a ride to Yosemite Valley on Saturday, before returning to a dinner catered by Pop’s Family Restaurant at the Oakhurst Community Center. The group also participated in ‘biker rodeo games’ and held a fundraising raffle.

The weekend outing raised about $7,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. There are 17 chapters of the SCRC in California, and over the past nine years, those chapters have raised nearly $100,000, and the club as a whole has donated more than $2.2 million to the hospital. This was the club’s third outing to Oakhurst, having made the trip in 2010 and 2011.

“At the end of 2014, we took a poll to see where club members wanted to go this year, and about 80% of those who responded, wanted to come back to Oakhurst and Yosemite,” Eveland said.

In the wake of the May 17 shooting deaths of nine people at a Waco, Texas, restaurant in what the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office called a motorcycle gang-related shooting, Eveland said outlaw motorcycle clubs represent about a half a percent of motorcycle clubs in America.

“We are the Southern Cruisers Riding Club … we require our members to always display a positive image of themselves and our club, watch our language and not put patches on our vests we wouldn’t be willing to wear standing in church next to our mothers,” Eveland said. “We’re a group of people who get together and share a belief that the journey is just as important, if not more important, than the destination.”

Eveland said SCRC members are friends who share a love for bikes, each other’s company, riding together, and appreciate the opportunity to be of service to the children of St. Jude.

“The only self-inflicted violence we encounter is fighting heartburn on pizza night,” said a smiling Eveland.

Club member and former State Officer Greg “Sparky” Ponton added that the Southern Cruisers Riding Club is a family-oriented club that promotes motorcycle riding in a safe, and fun environment.

Although the majority of bikes at the Oakhurst Community Center last Saturday night were Harley Davidsons, there was a good representation of all brands including Hondas, BMWs, Kawasakis, Yamahas, Victory, and KTMs. The SCRC has more than 30,000 members globally, with chapters in Europe, Asia, and other countries around the world.