Kickstands are up at noon on Saturday for the inaugural Ride for Autism Speaks in Milwaukee. The scenic 100-mile route through southern Wisconsin is the third in a series of rides organized to fund-raise for the national non-profit Autism Speaks. Other rides occur in Philadelphia, and Chicago celebrates their 11th annual ride in September.

Diane Gedlik, the mother of a child with autism and passionate motorcycle rider, started the first ride in Chicago. Milwaukee was chosen as the third host city because it's the home of Harley-Davidson and the state provides strong autism support. Organizers expect more than 300 riders and hope to raise more than $15,000.

"The motorcycle ride itself is a very powerful public display which is great for the mission of creating autism awareness," said Mallory Walsh, manager of Field Development for the Milwaukee chapter of Autism Speaks. "People see our puzzle pieces or Autism Speaks logo and think 'What is Autism?' and some are inclined to learn more about individuals affected by autism."

Autism Speaks is dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a possible cure for autism. Autism affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys and there is no medical detection for the disorder. Autism is the fastest-growing development disability in the United States and Autism Speaks is the world's largest funder for research.

"There are many misconceptions about autism and we strive to make the general public aware of the truths and the people who have autism," Walsh said. "Ride for Autism Speaks is a motorcycle ride event which allows our mission to integrate into a specific community other than those personally affected by autism."

The Milwaukee HOG Chapter Road Captain mapped the route for Milwaukee's ride so motorcyclists can expect country roads and beautiful scenery. Register online or in person from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the House of Harley, 6221 W. Layton Ave. in Milwaukee. Cost is $30 which includes an after-party from 3 to 7 p.m.

Other Rides Scheduled this Weekend

Good Vibrations Rally July 12-14: Motorcycles, music, malt and merlot what more could anyone ask for? All this and more at the 4th annual Good Vibrations Motorcycle Rally that starts at 9 a.m. Friday in Salem, OR.

Hawgs for Dogs July 13-14: This 24th annual ride benefits the Minnesota Chapter of Guide Dogs of America and takes participants on a 400 mile ride from Blaine, MN to Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

Saveavet Benefit Ride July 13: Choose from four starting locations for this 6th annual run - three in Illinois and one in Wisconsin. Proceeds benefit military working dogs. Registration is from 9 to 11 a.m.

Ride for Babies July 13: The March of Dimes benefits from the inaugural Ride for Babies that features two starting locations - Missoula and Kalispell, Montana. Register online or in person from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Kickstands up at 11 a.m.

Thunderburg July 13: Thousands of bikes line Main Street in Miamisburg, OH in a day of tribute to all things that are motorcycle.

Ride for Independence July 13: Multi Community Diversified Services (MCDS) presents the 5th annual Ride for Independence Poker Run that raises money for the organization to provide services for people with disabilities. Register online or in person at 8 a.m. Saturday in Hesston or Salina, KS.

Angel Ride for Hospice July 13: The 11th annual Angel Ride is a 120-mile poker run benefits Providence Hospice and Home care Foundation's Carousel program in Everett, WA.

Keith Dressel Memorial Ride July 13: This 7th annual ride is in honor of Keith Dressel of the Toledo Police Department who was shot and killed in the line of duty. Proceeds benefit a scholarship fund at Owens Community College. Register online or in person at 9 a.m. Saturday at Oscar Bunch Powertrain Park, 5444 Jackman Road in Toledo, OH.

Ride for Kids July 14: Ride for Kids benefits the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and features numerous rides throughout the country during the year. This weekend kickstands are up in South Bend, IN.

Written By: AndrewT