Story and photos by Diana Olmstead
Thousands of riders and non-riders from the Puget Sound Region have watched the Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team, decked out in their red shirts and black leather vests perform at dozens of community and motorcycle events over the years. But did you know that every year they throw a fun, cool, overnight biker campout party and pig roast!?!
The best part of all is that it’s for an excellent cause in the Team’s hometown of Tenino, Washington; the Team gives out scholarships to students who attend Tenino High School!
The Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team, a nonprofit, started this great Scholarship fund in 2002. The TEAM along with help from the Tenino High School staff, hand selects the scholarship recipients. What is impressive to me is that the multiple students are chosen for their ability to overcome adversity rather than just their GPA. These men believe that any kid from any walk of life should have a fair shot at a good education and bright future. They champion students that have overcome personal, financial, or health concerns. Sometimes that’s all teenagers need, just one person, or in this case an entire Motorcycle Drill Team to believe in them, to motivate them and to mentor them.
This year, on July 13th, it was the Teams 30th Do Wa Diddy! That is quite an accomplishment and it speaks volumes about their dedication to each other, their community and the younger generation, along with all of us who ride.
An estimated 650 bikers gathered together for this annual event in Maytown, WA, on private farmland property. The lush field of grass with all of the motorcycles and tents dotted throughout the several acres makes for a spectacular sight. There is also a nice sized staged which showcased several great bands that rocked the crowd all day and night: Coho, Gebular, Randy Linder, Whitey and the Ruby Blues, Back Fire, and Boneshaker!
I learned that Boneshaker is named after an old club that 2 of the band members late father belonged to way back in the day, when they were just little rug rats scampering about while their father and his buddies hung out and worked on bikes. It was quite an emotional moment when a few of the “old timers” realized that the band was named after their old club and after nearly 40 years they were face to face with the twin boys who were now grown musicians! Unplanned moments like that are what made this event even more memorable.
The day was absolutely gorgeous, the sun was out, temps were in the 80’s, people were walking around and socializing with their friends and crossing paths and catching up with some that they hadn’t seen in while.
Riders either entered their bikes in the bike show which had seven different categories to choose from or they simply took part in the judging process.
There were bike games taking place in the center field area which everyone enjoyed watching. The weenie bite, always a crowd favorite was a blast to watch. People were cracking up laughing, cheering and snapping photos nonstop of all of the game competitor’s silly antics!
After the bike games ended the Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team along with several volunteers served up a huge pig roast dinner with all of the fixin’s – beans, potato salad, fruit salad, and rolls. These weren’t skimpy portions either; the plates were heaped with food and it was delicious! Plus the Team had 76 kegs of cold beer on tap to quench the thirst of everyone attending and hot dogs were also available all day & night.
This year’s 50/50 raffle was a huge success. The winner walked away with $1300 in their pocket. How cool is that to show up to an event, have an absolute blast and leave with a wallet full of cash! Plus, you’re helping to send deserving teenagers to college.
I spoke to Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team member Chad Bowman and said “Chad, I know you had a lot of volunteers, is there anyone that you’d like to thank?” He replied, “Yes as a matter of fact I would like to thank all of the many volunteers from the south sound region and a special thanks to Bill “Chili” Romano & Doc Wilson.”
Chad continued on to say, “This was one of the best Do Wa Diddy’s, it was mellow yet a lot of fun, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The Team cannot thank the riders enough who came out to support the Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team and our scholarship program. We look forward to seeing everyone who attended at next years Do Wa Diddy along with lots of new faces too!”
Registration for this event was $50 and if you mentioned Quick Throttle you got $5 off. Not bad at all when you consider everything that was included: several bands, a huge meal, bike games, overnight camping, all the free beer you could drink, a bike show and a chance to win some cash!