Riders young, old ‘Rumble’ for the Swamp

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 10, 2002

She may be only five years old, but Chantel Edmonds is already know to her family as a motorcycle guru.

&uot;She’s as enthusiastic as the rest of the family,&uot; said Chantel’s grandmother, Kitty Quillin, a 35-year veteran of biking. &uot;She’s already got a helmet, gloves, boots, and even a motorcycle of her own.&uot;

Chantel’s mode of travel is a pink battery-powered Hot Wheels Harley Davidson. &uot;It’s got stickers all over it,&uot; said the Southwestern Elementary School student. But on Saturday afternoon, Chantel hopped on the back of her grandmother’s 2002 Harley Road King to take a longer ride; the 70-mile trek around the Dismal Swamp in the first Swamp Rumble biking event.


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Over 350 riders cruised the perimeter of the Swamp in a charity event for the Great Dismal Swamp Coalition, a non-profit organization that promotes public education of the Swamp’s ecology. By Saturday afternoon, over $3,000 had been raised for the Coalition.

The event was the brainchild of Suffolk director of tourism director Lynette Brugeman, also a Coalition member. &uot;We try to raise understanding of how large the swamp is, and bring awareness to the public of the Swamp’s assets,&uot; Brugeman said of her organization. &uot;Motorcyclists do lots of fundraising work, so we though that this would be a good way to help the Swamp.&uot; Next spring, she hopes to hold an antique car rally and bicycle ride around the Swamp.

One organization that helps in fundraising is Quillan’s non-profit Harley Owner Groups (HOG) organization, which is based out of Portsmouth.

&uot;We help organize charity rides around this area,&uot; she said. &uot;The Swamp Rumble was a beautiful ride. It was nice to see all the colors of the leaves and trees.&uot;