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Bikers roll out to combat cancer

Troutdale plumbing shop and Harley enthusiasts join in ride to aid cancer research


Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Motorcyclists gather at Alliance Plumbing in downtown Troutdale for a 100-mile ride to fund cancer research.Motorcycles fired up their engines in downtown Troutdale Sunday, Aug. 17, to take part in a 100-mile “poker run” with all proceeds going to benefit cancer research.

Three bands of riders took off from Alliance Plumbing, located along the historic highway in Troutdale, and collected poker cards along the way to their destination at Latus Motors Harley-Davidson, a dealership in Gladstone.

The event raised $700, which will be donated and matched by Phil Knight’s Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University.

“This is the first year we’ve done this and I’d like to triple the goal of money for cancer (research) next year,” said Mark Kruckman, general manager at Alliance Plumbing, who co-organized the event with a friend, Latus Motors’ general manager.

The turn out was just what he asked for, Kruckman said.

He felt compelled to the idea of a motorcycle charity ride after his best friend’s wife, Sandy Bowman, was diagnosed with leukemia about a year ago and is now on the brink of beating it.

Bowman’s husband, Cliff, also is a plumber, and he and Kruckman have been friends for more than 20 years.

Kruckman said Sandy Bowman was teary-eyed and “blown away” by the 55 riders who rolled in to support her and the fight against cancer.

Many of the Alliance employees ride motorcycles. Eight of them to be exact, and mostly Harley’s.

Kruckman offered up his Harley for the Bowman’s to ride, while he hopped on a bike lent by Latus.

On Sunday morning, bikers received their first poker card at Alliance Plumbing before heading out on the highway to the next stop at Gateway Inn Pub in Sandy, followed by Timber Park in Estacada, Sundown Steak and Pizza House in Mollala, and finally, Latus Motors in Gladstone.

The idea of a poker run is pretty simple.

Pick up all five cards, and whoever has the best poker hand, wins the prize.

The whole ride took about two- to three-hours, and raffle prizes and gifts were handed out at the end.

“It was just a real exciting good time,” Kruckman said.

Others thought so too.

“Awesome time, thank you all for the fun ride, food, prizes and great time,” said one participant on the plumbing shop’s Facebook page. Alliance specializes in plumbing and HVAC services and is located at 146 W. Historic Columbia River Highway.

The motorcycle ride to combat cancer will likely become an annual thing, Kruckman said.

“If we can get 50 riders this year, maybe we can get 75 or 100 next year,” he said.

He plans to call the event the “Alliance Plumbing River Ride,” since motorcyclists cross the Sandy, Bull Run, Clackamas and Mollala Rivers.Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The ride is in support of a plumber's wife, Sandy Bowman, who is in the midst of beating leukemia.



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