Layne Creed Part 2 – The 2012 Memorial Ride

When Billy Nunn says be there at 9:45, kickstands up at 10:00 or get left behind, you’d best get there on time.

We met on a cool, cloudy morning, 17 bikes, most with riders on the back, pulling into the parking lot two or three at a time. Considering that we’d had an unplanned party at Sharkey’s (http://www.sharkeyswingandribjoint.com/) the night before, more than one biker was feeling the after effects on Saturday. Just like the carb loading pasta dinners that cyclists have the night before a big ride, this group of bikers enjoyed a slightly different type of pre-ride carb load.

In another similarity to a big cycling event, we had our own SAG support, the term the cycling community uses for “support and gear”.  These are the folks who ride in vehicles and are prepared to offer aide to a cyclist in trouble.  Jerilyn provided SAG for our group.  By following the motorcycles in her car, Jerilyn was certainly there for the fun, but also to offer space for a rider and as a place to stow over night gear.  While waiting for everyone to get there, Jerilyn made a new friend and I set up the tripod in preparation for a group shot.

  

In spite of the late night, we were a happy group that morning.

   

Soon enough it was time to pose for the group shot and get on down the road to Mt Airy, NC to ride in the 2012 Layne Creed Memorial Ride (https://lifeonthebikeandotherfabthings.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/layne-creed-the-reason-behind-the-ride/ )

The ride was chilly as we progressed slowly down through the mountains on Rt 52.  The slow pace was not purposeful, I guarantee (the pictures show the problem) but it allowed for the photo capture of our line of bikes.

  

Pulling into 13 Bones (http://www.eat13bones.com/) on a day threatening rain, the crew from Virginia was a welcome site to the team of organizers of the Layne Creed Memorial Ride for the Rescuers.  This was the 6th year of the ride and monies raised get donated to local rescue squads, fire departments, a children’s home and to support 2 scholarships. The owners of 13 Bones, in addition to being regular contributors to community events, were close friends of Layne Creed and they provide a great place to start the ride.

As soon as we got there, we lined up to get wrist bands, purchase T-shirts, pull a card for the Poker hand and buy tickets for the corn hole raffle.  This year, TW Signs (http://www.twsigns.net/), the company that makes the annual ride T-shirts, also made a Harley Davidson corn hole board that was donated and put up for raffle.

   

(photo: Velvet Creed Leonard)

It was 11am and everyone enjoyed wings, sausage biscuits and beverages at 13 Bones.

  

Meanwhile out in the parking lot, riders checked out Layne’s old truck,  and got ready to ride.

  

    

Folks looked at other bikes, reconnected with old friends and listened to pre-ride instructions.

  

  

  

  

60 bikes and many cars and trucks pulled out for the ride that honors the memory of Layne Creed.  Stops along the way included Dodge City in Elkin, the Yadkin Moose Lodge in Mocksville, Cooper’s Sports Bar in Pilot Mountain and finally the Elks Lodge in Mt Airy.  Each break offered food, beverages, and another card for the poker hand.

I’ve ridden in this Poker Run 4 times, but have no experience with any other rides.  All I ever hear from more experienced riders is that this one is the most organized that they have ever been involved with.  Every stop sign and intersection is monitored by someone from police, fire or rescue.  Traffic is stopped when necessary and the bikes ride on by.  In a few instances, folks in cars pull over out of respect for the ride and what it represents.

  

(photo: Velvet Creed Leonard)

We rode in pouring rain and chilly temps, but never lost the purpose, spirit and fun of the day!  Once wet, it really doesn’t matter … you just keep riding for the cause.

  

  

(the previous 5 photos courtesy of Velvet Creed Leonard)

Somewhere along the way, a key became embedded in Josh’s back tire and caused a flat.  Thanks to good friends on the road, the bike was safely loaded on a trailer and the ride continued on.

  

(photo: Velvet Creed Leonard)

By 5pm, a long line of wet riders pulled into the Mt Airy Elks Lodge.  Those who had them, changed wet clothes for dry ones and it was time to enjoy good food, door prizes and a silent auction.

Many pictures were taken, dancing was done, and in the end, $5500 was donated to the Children’s Center of Surry and Yadkin and scholarships were given to two Surry Community College students.

  

    

Even with a flat tire, a broken peg, and a couple of wrong turns and a dropped bike or two on the way to the hotel, it was a great day … rain and all!  The next morning dawned beautifully and it was a perfect day for a ride back home to Virginia.

  

  

We’re already looking forward to the 7th annual ride in 2013!

Layne Creed Part 1 – The Reason Behind the Ride

Velvet says that those who didn’t know her brother Layne “would have loved him if they had. Everyone loved Layne”!

(photo credit: family of Layne Creed)

Layne Creed was evidently such a “people person” that  everyone loved to be around him.  He was quiet until you got to know him, but once you did, he was a man that you wanted to spend time with.   His sister Renee says he was “just amazing” and had a great smile.  He was a giver of time and self and was always willing to lend a hand. He never had children of his own, but he frequently gave time and attention to everyone else’s.  When he wasn’t operating his paving business, Layne loved to spend time on the boat, and to ride horses and motorcycles.

In keeping with his habit of helping others, he spent the day that he died working at the family home on Lake Norman.  After hours of working on the roof, Layne went out on the pontoon boat with 9 others to cool down after the day.  He left his cell phone, wallet and knife with his mother Nancy, and headed out on the boat.  Velvet says that she could hear in his voice that he wasn’t quite himself but when she called him (using his own phone) he said he was just tired.  From the shoreline, she could hear Layne and the others out on the boat, laughing and carrying on.

But it wasn’t too long before all she heard was the panicked calling of Layne’s name.  He had picked up Travis’  wife, Angela, with the intention of playfully throwing her into the water but he ended up going in too … and he never came up.  Velvet frantically called 911 using Layne’s own phone, while friends desperately tried to find him.  They called his name over and over and jumped in to try to find him, all to no avail. It seemed to Velvet that within minutes the place was swarming with first responders.  During this same time, Renee and a carload of friends were on their way out to the lake for the evening.  They ended up riding right in behind all the rescue vehicles and were horrified to find that it was Layne the rescuers were coming to help.  Rescue Squads, Police, and Fire vehicles kept arriving and they all seemed to have come so quickly … even though in her shock Velvet had had trouble remembering the correct address.

For two days, they searched for Layne.  That first night, they searched until it was no longer safe to do so, and then they came back early the next morning and started all over again.  Finally after 48 hours, his body came to the surface and he was found. The family stayed awake for two days … in shock, sadness, and disbelief that he was gone.  How could a man who spent so many years of his life in and around the water, have drowned?  It turns out that he’d had a heart attack and drowned as a result.  It was August 19, 2006 and the year was now doubly devastating.  Joe Creed, the father of Velvet, Layne, Scotty and Renee, had died just 7 months before.

    

(photo credit:  13 Bones wall picture and Layne Creed Memorial Ride FB Page)

Velvet says that she, her mother Nancy, and Renee and Scotty never wanted to have another family live through the horror of those 48 hours … and soon the idea of a Ride for the Rescuers was born.  The many, many tasks that had to be accomplished in planning such a big event gave the family “something to do and it was a way to try to manage the overwhelming grief”.  Over $7000 was raised that first year and was given to the rescuers in Sherrills Ford Fire and Rescue to help with the purchase of an underwater camera.  The donation of that money inspired the rescuers to seek grant funding and ultimately the underwater camera was purchased.  Because of that the Creed family knew that no other family would suffer the way that they had during the long 2 days of searching for Layne.

(photo credit:  Layne Creed FB Page)

According to Layne’s sister, Renee, “That was the most horrible feeling, because we knew where he was, but we had to wait for that sonar a whole day to find him. So that’s why we were so passionate about helping them get their sonar. After we helped them, we wanted to put the money back into our community, because there’s always something that needs to be purchased and you never know when you are going to need help”.  The family just wanted something good to come out of the tragedy of losing Layne.

(photo courtesy of Dale Sands)

There have been 6 rides in memory of Layne since that first one in 2007.  The committee has regular planning meetings that start 4 to 5 months before each year’s ride.  Velvet says that there are so many friends who attend the meetings and help to plan the ride and the Creed family is grateful to each and every one.  The planning has gotten a bit easier each year as the committee has learned how to manage the work load involved in pulling off such a big ride.  The whole family pulls together to plan the ride.  In addition to Velvet and Renee, Layne’s brother Scotty, mother Nancy and brothers-in-law, Ken Ross and Chris Leonard all help with the event each year.  They believe that the large volunteer force, and the many folks who ride, is a testament to the person that Layne was.

The  2012 Layne Creed Memorial Ride raised over $5500, despite the fact that the ride took place in a driving rain.  This year’s money was donated to the Children’s Center of Surry and Yadkin, which provides support services to strengthen family relationships and prevent child abuse.  The Children’s Center received money from the 2011 ride as well.

Velvet says her “heart is overfull” and the family and the committee are grateful that so many people came out to ride even though the weather proved to be such a challenge.  They say that the many hours of work required to ensure a successful and safe ride year after year are worth it when so many people come out to celebrate the life of their loved one, and in his memory, donate money to a variety of causes in the surrounding communities.  Over the past 6 years, more than $34,000 has been raised in the memory of Layne Creed with donations going to Fire and Rescue Departments in Surry, Booneville, Yadkin, and Fall Creek.  In addition, in each of the past 4 years, 2 students have received $250 scholarships to help with expenses at Surry Community College.

(Photo credit Mt Airy News)

The Creed Family recently posted the following statement on the Layne Creed Memorial Ride Facebook Page:

We are so THANKFUL to have so many people help us with all the hard work!  We can not thank you all enough!  You all mean so much to us.  Taking time out of your life to help us organize, and work the ride, and raise money for the Children’s Home of Surry and Yadkin in MEMORY of our beloved LAYNE CREED. Thanks to all of the people and businesses who donated!

AND NOW A BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO RODE THE RIDE!!! WOW! OUR HEARTS MELTED AGAIN WHEN WE SAW JUST HOW MANY PEOPLE CAME OUT ON SATURDAY!!! We had about 60 bikes, 114 people that RODE the ride!!!! YOU ALL ARE GREAT! AND ALL OF THOSE WHO CAME OUT THAT NIGHT, BIG THANKS TO YOU TOO! Hope you all come back next year!
Again we greatly appreciate anyone who helped in any way with this event!
The CREED FAMILY
(photo credit Layne Creed FB Page)
Of the six Layne Creed Memorial Rides, two have been held in significant heat, one on a very cold day, one in the rain and two in perfect riding weather.  Rest assured that no matter the weather, the 7th Annual event will be held in 2013.  It will be a time to honor Layne Creed, beloved family member and friend, and it will be an event that will provide financial support for the community  in which he lived.