Motorcycles Rev In Memory Of Beloved Resident
By Carisa Biesecker
Known by many titles – husband, son, friend and so much more – former Riverview resident Brad Ruel’s memory will be celebrated this month as motorcyclists take to the road for the Moment of Thunder Tribute for Brad “The Wrench” Ruel Memorial Ride and Hog Roast to benefit the American Heart Association.Planned for Saturday, July 10, family, friends and fellow motorcyclists are welcome to head out to The Wrench, Brad’s bike shop, located at 4911 E. Broadway Ave. in Tampa, at 10:30 a.m. to put rubber to pavement, traveling from there to Mango Joe’s, situated at 2626 E. College Ave. in Ruskin. Here, from 12 Noon-7 p.m., riders as well as the general public are invited to partake of a hog roast, bike show; live music; the Kid’s Corner, with face painting, a coloring contest and games; food; drinks; a 50/50 raffle; and more. Then at 1 p.m., bikers will have the opportunity to pay tribute to the man of the hour during the Moment of Thunder. “We will all fire up our bikes and make sure Brad hears us in the heavens,” reads wife, Karen Ruel’s post on the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Website. Brad passed away in July of 2009 at the age of 43 from heart disease caused by arteriosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries), having left behind a legacy of love for his family, his businesses – Coastline Roofing and The Wrench – and motorcycles. While growing up, he built a prolific resume of accomplishments in the world of professional motorcross racing, winning the Easy Rider Custom Bike Competition three times and taking the title of national champion for the Rat’s Hole Bike Show, his dreams being cut short due to a leg injury at the age of 21. He would go on to be quoted in more than 60 magazines for his expertise in the field and appear on the television series Metric Revolution Bike Build Off, Two Guys Garage, American Thunder and Born To Ride and work as a builder for Pumpkin Films and Broken Spoke Films. Always having regular checkups and no signs of previous problems, Brad’s diagnosis did not come until after his passing, with signs of two past heart attacks being present. The one thing he did have was a family history of the disease.His fervor for bikes continues on even after his passing, fueling the tribute, which will benefit the American Heart Association (AHA). “If I can help one family to catch the signs early and to not go through what our family has had to go through, the day will be a success,” says Karen, coordinator of the event. Recognizing the event as a time to remember Brad, she adds: “Brad always went above and beyond to help people whenever he could and would never think twice about it. He was the kind of person that would give you the shirt off his back. He never set a goal and did not accomplish it!”Some 250 people are expected to attend the event, with hopes of raising $10,000 for AHA, which states, via its Website, that heart disease is the No. 1 killer, with stroke being the third, in the United States.For more information, call 927-3986. Residents who are unable to attend the event are welcome to make donations on behalf of Brad at http://tampabayheartwalk.kintera.org/bradruel.