By Jennifer Henion
Triplicate staff writer
It doesn't matter to Ruth McNamara if it's raining or not.
If she's got some spare time, she kisses her grandchildren on the forehead, pulls on her leather boots and helmet and heads out on the highway looking for adventure.
She's a motorcycle mama and she's on a mission.
"I'm a grandma nearing 50 and I wanted to get a bike before I turned 50, so I got one," McNamara said.
"And I was thinking it would be really neat to do something for a good cause with my bike, so I got on the Internet and found this," she added.
What she found was a cross-country benefit ride for breast cancer research scheduled to start in New York and land in Crescent City July 26.
It's called the Pony Express Journey of Hope, organized by the Women's Motorcyclist Foundation, Inc., and it will wind down the West Coast, ending in San Diego on July 31.
"We're going to have a lot of motorcycles come through here. It's going to be neat," she said.
McNamara paid the $250 to participate, even though she only has enough time off work to travel with the ride to Arcata.
Every dollar submitted by the riders as entry fees or donations is passed on to the Susan G. Komen Foundation Inc., to fund the search for a cure for breast cancer.
Dressed in her leathers, McNamara will depart on her leg of the journey July 27 and she's hoping to encourage other Del Norte motorcyclists both women and men to join her in this cause.
For people without motorcycles who want to help, checks can be made out to the Komen Foundation and sent with McNamara.
"Breast cancer is the number-one killer of women between age 20 and 59. That's why I'm riding down the road to a cure with the other Pony Express riders," she said.
This year's ride will be the fourth Pony Express. The previous three nationwide tours have raised more than $1.5 million, all of which went directly to the Komen Foundation.
To help McNamara amass a large Del Norte County donation toward the cure, call her at 465-4144 or show up at 6 a.m., July 27 at the garrison American flag in Crescent City Harbor to give her your check or support in person.
"I kind of feel like this is something I can do to help if other people want to join me, that's great," she said.
For more information, visit the Pony Express Women's Motorcyclist Foundation Web site www.ponyexpressrides.org.