FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Maryville, TN When John Jessup moved his motorcycle shop and his family from Stockton, California, to Maryville, TN, he brought with him his knowledge of motorcycles, his tools and parts, and his sense of community. It was that very sense of community that made this year so special for nearly 1,000 kids in and around eastern Tennessee and California this Christmas.
John Jessup, the proprietor of Dream Rides, didn't always have it easy growing up. He didn't have a lot of things that most kids had, but he did have dreams. Dreams that included having the independence that he knew two wheels would bring him. Dreams that, as a little boy, even though materialized, were snatched away pretty quickly for one reason or another. Eventually, when he was old enough to make his own money, Jessup bought his own bicycle, but man, he'll never forget the years he missed out on riding around the neighborhood raising a ruckus.
Fast forward a few decades, and John is now a grown man with a family of his own and a thriving motorcycle business in two locations, CA and TN. Despite his success, John has never forgotten those days as a youngster when he wished for even the simplest bicycle. He remembers what it was like to watch other kids ride by as he looked out the window. Jessup knew that if he went through that when he was a kid, kids today are dealing with the same thing. He also knew that if he could change that for just a few kids, it could change a few lives at the same time. Enter the Dream Rides Bicycle Drive.
While still in Stockton, CA, Jessup came up with the idea to offer up a customized Harley-Davidson as a raffle prize for anyone who brought a brand-new kids bicycle to the shop. It didn't matter how much the bike cost or for what age group; it was just that there were bikes to give to kids in the local area at Christmastime. For every bike someone brought in, they got the same number of entries for the motorcycle drawing. Wouldn't you know, it worked! In fact, it was such a success that when John opened his second location in Maryville, TN, he started the same program there. They averaged a few hundred bikes per year per shop over four years… that's roughly 800 bikes for 800 kids! Now, five years later, and in two locations, the 2023 Dream Rides Bicycle Drive has had the most successful year yet. Both Dream Rides locations were inundated with bicycles of every shape, size, and color you could possibly imagine, totaling more than seven hundred! Yes, you read that right, more than 700 children received brand-new bicycles with no questions asked.
Prior to the event this year John and his staff of elves took a 40ft trailer to McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, where the bicycles would be assembled. You see, bikes were sent from all over the country, and as you can imagine, based on the numbers, there was no way that the fellas would get all the bikes together in time for the kids. So, what else do you do when you need to change lives? You call upon the US Military to help, and they did. With three teams of mechanics at the ready, hundreds of bikes started going together.
From there, the bikes were brought to a gymnasium at Camp Tipton. Through the efforts of the local community and churches, a notice was passed along that if you had a child who needed a bike for Christmas, all you had to do was show up. The child could even pick out their own bicycle! The line was enormous. Holiday music played as friends and neighbors stood eager to open the doors. When they did, the true spirit of Christmas rushed in. Groups of ten families were let in at a time and allowed to go through row after row of ready-to-go bicycles and pick the perfect one. After making their selection, there were three stations where mechanics from Dream Rides made adjustments to handlebars and seat height and gave them one last safety inspection before moving the child on to the next station, where they got to pick out a helmet.
“It’s all because of the motorcycle community, the Misfits or the people who seem the be on the fringe of society, are the ones who give back to the community and do something as special as this.” said Jessup.
Today, John has an incredible family. His children have the things he may not have had as a kid himself. His hard work and personal accountability has made it that way for them, and that is truly a special thing to give. Perhaps the best part of what his life experience has given to all of us is a gentle reminder that we are all in this together and that if we just pay attention, there are small ways to make a big difference all around.
About Dream Rides: Dream Rides Of TN is a full service aftermarket motorcycle shop that opened in 2021, located in Maryville. They sell used motorcycles, parts and accessories. They also perform upgrades and repairs along with crafting ground up custom motorcycles. This is the second store in their business history with the original location still in operating in Stockton, CA. that has been open for two decades. Contact John Jessup at Dream Rides 865-233-7272 or visit them on line at dreamridesoftn.com
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Release ID: 896231