'You don't know what this means': Terminally ill man given last motorcycle ride
Dozens of motorcycle riders from all over Alberta rallied behind Drayton Valley resident Lloyd Patterson on Sunday.
Lloyd, now in his 60s, has had a life-long passion for motorcycles.
“When you bike from 10 years old, build them, race them,” said Lloyd. “The feel of the vibration between your legs, the wind in your face and the heat of the sun... there's no way you can explain it.”
His son, Michael Patterson, added, “All my childhood I remember him on bikes. He was always building choppers."
Lloyd moved to Drayton Valley from the east coast in 2005. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer.
“He was only given 15 months to live,” said Michael.
As his battle gets worse, Michael wanted to surprise his dad with one last motorcycle ride.
"Everytime I see him looking at the television or watching bikes go by, he always gets big bright eyed and I knew this would really mean a lot to him," Michael said.
Michael took to social media to see if someone would give his dad that ride. Not only did he find a volunteer, but dozens made plans to ride alongside his dad.
“It's a very large brotherhood and usually when there's a need, just the average guy with a motorcycle will come out and do whatever he can. I found it within my power to come out and do this and a lot of other people, total strangers, these are all total strangers to me came out to support Lloyd on his final ride on a motorcycle,” said Robert Olivier, who made the trip from Langdon, Alberta.
Lloyd said he was blown away with the surprise.
“I want to thank everybody that's been part of this, that organized it," Lloyd said. "You don't know what this means.”
Olivier had the honour of giving Lloyd the ride. The group rode west to Lodgepole then looped back to Drayton Valley.
“I'm just happy that I could do something for a gentleman who is not going to be long with us,” said Olivier.
“To me it really lifted his spirits, he's running on adrenaline right now it sounds like and we've done a good thing for him,” he added.
“It was a beautiful ride. I haven't been feeling the best the last few days but this just brought everything a little brighter today,” said Lloyd.
“The only thing that would've been better is if I was behind the steering wheel,” he laughed.
It’s a day his son will cherish.
“To see that smile on his face, that's why I did it. That meant the world to me and I'll remember that forever,” said Michael.