By: Wally Wersching
On Saturday, November 19th, John Murphey of Murphey’s Scooter Shed in Kings Mountain, NC held his 22nd Annual Toy Run. The 50 mile, police escorted, ride benefits the Shriner's Burn Center, Oxford Orphanage Masonic Home for Children, and the Kings Mountain Police Department “Shop With A Cop”.
God continued to watch over John’s event. It was another beautiful sunny fall day with temps due to rise into the lower 60’s, which encouraged many bikers to come for the ride.
The toys collected filled many huge boxes. This year Murphey asked for a $5 donation along with the new toy for every person going on the run. That included the run, BBQ afterward, and live music.
Murphey’s Scooter Shed is located in a residential neighborhood next to John’s home on a dead-end road. There is a small parking area around the shop, and during the toy runs it’s full of bikers buying t-shirts, renewing old acquaintances, and making new ones, while dropping off the toys.
I got to Murphey’s at about 10:15AM. John looks more like Santa Claus every year. Slowly, more bikes came down the road. I helped guide them to keep most of the bikes on the pavement. The adjacent lawns were off limits.
The band “Back Road” was playing in the garage, and the cooks were getting the food ready. The BBQ served at Murphey’s is some of the best in the area.
I walked down the long line of motorcycles, and heard many people laughing, and getting acquainted. Down the row of beautiful motorcycles were a few Victory and Indian motorcycles, but most of the bikes were Harleys or Japanese Harley wannabes. I saw a few young people on sport bikes, two Triumphs, a couple Can-Am Spyders, and a Polaris Slingshot. There was even a bike with a 1940 sidecar. Everybody was welcomed.
I met a man riding a new Victory, and after we talked for a few minutes, we realized that we knew each other. I hadn’t talked with Rocky for about six years. We had a pleasant conversation as we walked toward the registration table.
I always like to get to the toy run early so I can visit with people before they leave. Many riders don’t come back to Murphey’s for the free BBQ.
At exactly 12:00 noon, the run began with a police escort with Murphey leading the run as usual on his custom-made Indian look-alike bike. The route was planned ahead, and either the police or fire departments would block off every intersection. I decided not to go on the run but to take pictures of the riders as they left. They left quickly but it still took the 300+ bikes about 15 minutes to pass. I’ll put all my pictures on a DVD for John to show him who was there. He’s so busy during the run that he doesn’t have time to interact with everyone.
After all the bikes left, I headed back home. I noticed that the wind picked up with strong gusts, and it was getting cooler. Many of the run participants took off their leathers because it was warm walking around Murphey’s place. I’ll bet that when they stopped, they put them back on for the ride back to Murphey’s to eat.
I will definitely go again next year. It’s a great way to spend a late fall Saturday, and it helps a lot of kids have a Merry Christmas.