R…MAAN rides through Lassen County
California Highway Patrol Officer Tom Rigney and his wife Michelle, who is a sexual assault/rape coordinator for Lassen Family Services, have been organizing this event for more than five years. He said it has always been a worthwhile cause, with all of the proceeds from the event going to Lassen Family Services.
“A lot of great businesses have been involved,” Rigney said. “We’ve collected over $3,500 in raffle prizes from businesses here and outside of the area, even though most of our support has been local. It’s outstanding.”
Rigney also explained how the organized ride is a great cause for men and women to stand together. He said the message of the event is about men and women “riding against domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and child molestation.”
The ride kicked off at 10:30 a.m., with all participating riders returning to the Lassen Shopping Center at roughly 5 p.m. for the prize raffle held at Round Table Pizza.
As the riders started to gather, Rigney spoke with the group, outlining the details of the ride, from what to do if a bike broke down to where they could stop along the way for a break. Rigney coordinated with some of the gas stations along the route participating in the event, allowing for free soft drinks and water for any of the riders deciding to take a breather from the ride.
Before the riders took off, Rigney told a quick story about how he had recently received a call in the middle of the night from Tonight Show host Jay Leno, a longtime supporter of the RMAAN ride.
“(Leno) told me that he was performing in Las Vegas on the same Saturday as the event, so he couldn’t make it out,” Rigney said to the crowd. “I told (Leno) that I appreciate his thinking of us, and (Leno) said that he supported everything you’re doing, it’s a good thing you’re doing out there for Lassen Family Services and your community.”
Rigney said he was going to keep after Leno, and that one of these days R…MAAN was going to get Leno to come up here and ride with them.
On their way out of town, Rigney and fellow rider Steve Adams coordinated all of the riders to drive through the Susanville Supermarket parking lot, where the Special Olympics were holding a carwash fund-raiser.
With cash in hand, the large pack of riders drove through the lot without stopping, as waiting volunteers held out large cardboard boxes for the riders to drop their donations as they slowly rode by. Motorcycle engines roared to the delight of the crowd of volunteers and athletes collecting donations, officially kicking off the ride.
After the prize raffle, Round Table gave a 50 percent discount to all riders eating at the restaurant, while Hart’s Café gave a discount to all riders who wanted breakfast before the ride.
“The community has really come together on this,” Rigney said. “The R…MAAN has a U.S. patent, and when my wife and I put this together, we decided to donate to it to Lassen Family Services.”
Rigney said this RMAAN event was another big success for everyone involved. Adams said everyone was looking forward to the next RMAAN ride, which he said would most likely be in October. The Rigneys have organized the ride to almost always be twice a year.
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