Yuma’s Jimmie White and Arick Davis spent last weekend helping set a new world record, while also raising funds for a non-profit that helps those dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The long-time motorcycle-riding friends, and Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, traveled 1,851 miles, leaving Thursday for Texas and returning Sunday night.
“I thought it was a trivial thing to do, but it turned out to be pretty cool,” White said Monday.
Their Harleys — Jimmie rides a Tri-Glide Ultra (the Vietman War veteran said its a concession to his advancing age: “It’s very comfortable. You just turn up the tunes and sit back.”) Arick a Road Glide Ultra — were two of 3,864 Harley Davidsons that participated in a parade Saturday at Cox Field Airport near Paris, Texas.
The “Bring It Home Parade 2019” set a new world record for a Harley-Davidson parade. It was documented and verified by the Guinness Book of World Records. The event shattered the previous world record of 2,404 Harley motorcycles that had been set in Patras, Greece.
Jimmie said the event’s organizer, Adam Sandoval, had stated that such a record involving Harley-Davidson motorcycles should be in the United States, not Greece. It had been attempted in the near past, but the effort failed when it was discovered there were some Asian-made brand motorcycles in the parade.
That meant security and authentication was tight. There was only one gate open to get in and out of the airfield, and each rider had to register, have a motorcycle endorsed license, and the VIN and license plate number of their Harley in order to be allowed to participate.
Each participant paid a $15 registration fee. The proceeds went to Motorcycle Missions, a non-profit that helps military veterans and first responders dealing with PTSD. Motorcycle Missions encourages its participants to instill a life-long passion for riding and building motorcycles, helping them enjoy a happy, healthy and balanced lifestyle after trauma.
When everything was set, the parade began. Led by a World War II aircraft, the Harley-Davidsons rode in organized rows on the various runways at the air field. It took a little more than two hours for all the motorcycles to cross the finish line.
There is a video on YouTube of the whole parade at the finish line. One can see Jimmie and Arick about 53 to 54 minutes into the video. Arick figured that out after he got home. He was skimming through it when he noticed some bikes that were right in front of them carrying U.S. flags on tall poles.
“I just got lucky,” he laughed. “I wasn’t going to sit there and watch it for two hours.”
The duo spent a lot more time than that on their Harleys last week. They took off Thursday, traveling through Kansas and then through scenic eastern Oklahoma and Texas. They camped in tents along the way.
Strangely, they did not see many other motorcyclists on the way there.
“Man, they sure showed up out of nowhere,” Jimmie laughed.
“It was like the whole town of Yuma, and then some, had bought a motorcycle,” Arick joked.
Jimmie has ridden motorcycles for more than 30 years, taking many cross-country trips with his wife, Carol, other family members and friends. (He noted that Carol covered his rural postal route while he was gone.) Arick has been riding for more than 20, and the two have taken several trips together, along with others from Yuma.
Jimmie, a devoted member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, is a staunch supporter of veterans causes, which gave extra incentive for being part of a world record event.
Of course, there also was the simple motivation of being on the road with a riding pal.
“Just friendship,” Arick said of why he decide to go along, “getting to ride with this guy.”
“We’ve rode a lot of miles together through the years,” Jimmie added.