Saturday morning BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall and several members of his coaching staff participated in a fun event to benefit local child abuse prevention programs.
Coach Mendenhall led a large group of motorcycle riders on the benefit ride called the Black Leather and Cougar Blue Motorcycle Ride. The ride originated at Timpanogos Harley in Lindon and went up Provo Canyon and past Kamas before returning to Lindon.
Coach Mendenhall said he first started riding at the suggestion of his brother Mat, who was a standout defensive end for the Cougars in the late 70s before going on to play for the Washington Redskins in the NFL.
"I used to think my commute to work was too long, but now I wish the commute was longer," Coach Mendenhall explained about his enthusiasm for riding. "My youngest son Raeder loves riding. He demands to ride up front so he can feel the wind in his face."
Coach Mendenhall expressed his total willingness to lend his support to the cause of benefiting local child abuse prevention programs. "If as the BYU football coach I can help increase awareness for this cause I think that's great."
Offensive coordinator Robert Anae and defensive coordinator Jaime Hill joined Mendenhall on the benefit ride along with many Cougar fans, some former players and other members of the community.
Coach Mendenhall spent time talking to fans and the media during the morning while riders registered at Timpanogos Harley and enjoyed an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Riders paid $25 to participate on the ride with any passengers coming along for just $10. The cost included breakfast, lunch, a pin and a bandana.
The Exchange Club of Utah Valley, Salisbury Homes and Timpanogos Harley teamed to sponsor the event with proceeds benefiting the Family Support and Treatment Center and other local child abuse prevention programs. Many volunteers came out, including those representing the sponsoring entities, to help run the event. The event is one of several benefit rides sponsored by Timpanogos Harley, which also runs the Timpanogos Disability Support Center, a service that customizes wheelchairs for children.
In addition to the ride, the ride sponsors gave away a 2009 Harley-Davidson Street Bob.
Just prior to the event, Coach Mendenhall talked live with Mel Kiper of ESPN about the BYU team and the upcoming season. Fall Camp gets underway in less than a week now with the first practice scheduled for next Saturday, Aug. 8.