Green River Star -

By Tyler Johnson
Rocket Miner Via Wyoming News Exchange 

Vincent's ride: Bikers make young man's dream come true

 

September 15, 2022

Photo by Tyler Johnson, Rocket Miner

Before Vincent Johnson’s ride, Jay Weisgerber, a biker from Alliance, Nebraska, presents him with an autographed helmet donated by Flaming Gorge Harley Davidson. 

ROCK SPRINGS — The biker community made a young man’s dream come true Sunday morning.

Motorcyclists from all over joined together to give Rock Springs resident Vincent Johnson, an 18-year-old with cerebral palsy, a ride that he will never forget.

For several years, it was Johnson’s dream to go on a motorcycle ride.

In order to make that dream happen, though, he needed to ride in a sidecar. His grandmother Susan Nay began reaching out, making calls and posting on Facebook in search of one so her grandson can fulfill his dream.

In May, she got in touch with Jay Weisgerber, a man from Alliance, Nebraska, who just so happened to have a sidecar. Weisgerber was living in Rapid City, South Dakota, at the time and was ready to make the trip.

Johnson’s health was not good then, however, so the ride had to be postponed.

Weisgerber created a Facebook page called Vincent’s Ride and began posting on the Sweetwater Classifieds page to recruit local bikers to join him in making Johnson’s dream come true.

On Saturday, Sept. 3, Weisgerber, along with his dog and girlfriend, traveled 405 miles to give Johnson a quick ride around town.

“I didn’t even care if anybody else showed up. I was on a mission. I was dead set on giving this young man Vincent a ride,” Weisgerber said.

“People who want to donate ask, ‘Do you have a 501c3?’ and I say, ‘No. This has nothing to do with money,’” he said. “I’ve had people offer me money, pay my way, offer to pay for my motel and I had three different people who I have never met offer to let me stay at their house last night with my dog and my girlfriend. That’s how these people are coming together.”

“I’ve been a biker my whole life and it doesn’t surprise me a bit because that’s the way the biker community is.”

Nearly 60 bikers and members of the Sweetwater County community showed up to Johnson’s house Sunday morning, gifting him with an autographed helmet and t-shirt that was donated by Flaming Gorge Harley Davidson. Motorcycle clubs such as Bad Lands Bandits and Fallen Saints Red Desert, as well as the American Legion Riders, joined in on the ride.

“When people think of the bikers in our community, people have a negative thought of what being a biker is. This is the turnout you can get on a three-day weekend. All the organizational stuff goes away when it comes to this because we have a purpose and a focus,” said Grant Yaklich, vice director and chaplain of the American Legion Riders.

“The man who brought his sidecar here, Jay, he came here from Alliance, Nebraska. He’s a school bus driver and he has taken his three-day weekend to come to Rock Springs to do this for this young man because this is what his wish is. This is what his dream is.

“It doesn’t matter who you ride with, what you ride or how you ride, this is about the community and this is a great representation of what the biker community in this area stand for.”

Upon the bikers’ arrival, Nay was nearly brought to tears by the love and support her grandson had received.

“I am just overwhelmed,” said Nay after seeing the amount of people who showed up for her grandson’s wish. “I am very excited for Vincent and I think this is a fantastic thing these people are doing. He likes to try different things and he’s been talking about this one for several years now.

“I’m going to cry.”

When seeing the look on Johnson’s face when the bikers showed up to his house, Rep. Marshall Burt of House District 39, who is also a member of the Fallen Saints Red Desert Motorcycle Club, said, “This is what it’s all about.

“What a lot of people don’t realize, as bikers, we might have a bad perception because we wear a lot of leather and we may look a little standoffish, but bikers, in their nature, are very charitable individuals and as a group,” Burt said.

“There are a lot of events that happen throughout the year that bikers will show up to, donate a lot of their money. Being able to get together with fellow riders and enjoy the beautiful day to give back to the community is really what we focus on,” he said. “That’s our goal. We always want to give back to the community.”

 

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