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Dozens of motorcyclists brave cold for Polar Bear Ride

Motorcyclists participate in ride to raise money for Special Olympics

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SALEM, Va. – Dozens of motorcyclists braved the cold at the annual Polar Bear Ride in Salem Saturday morning.

No doubt the motorcyclists would have preferred warmer weather.

“The weather is in the 30s. It's calling for snow,” Chad Beheler, deputy sheriff of the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office said.

But the inclement weather didn't stop them from going on the annual ride.

“We still have a good crowd coming in (today) so we're thankful,” Beheler said.

More than thirty riders got together at the Fort Lewis Fire Department Station Number 9 for the annual ride.

 “We partnered with the sheriff’s departments to help them sponsor this event. We’re looking for a good time, hopefully a safe ride at the weather and everything,” participant Craig Sheets, a member of the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association said.

“I think people care for the cause, you know the Special Olympics athletes,” Beheler said.

They traveled down route 460 to Christiansburg.

The ride ended at The Shop, owned by Jason McCroskey who sponsored the event.

“It’s another thing the motorcycle community can come together and help with, and we're here to support these type things,” McCroskey said.

“It was a great cause. I mean it's the Special Olympics. What the sheriff’s department does is fabulous. I'm just glad this many came out, even if they didn't ride. They still came out for the support,” participant Doug Stackpole said.

Even though the turnout wasn't has big as some had hoped, Sheets says the ride still speaks volumes about the community.

“It means a lot because that means there's a core group that really wants to support Special Olympics and everything,” Sheets said.

Sheets said his support for the Special Olympics doesn’t end here.

 “We're going to try to do something in the spring with our group to try to support Special Olympics and raise even more when the weather gets a little bit better,” Sheets said.