Thousands hit the road for Bob Probert’s Memorial Ride

 

By Joel Charron

Friends and family of Bob Probert say this was the type of fundraiser the beloved enforcer would have loved to be a part of.

Doug Gilmore, Sheldon Kennedy and Chris Chelios, along with Probert’s family and over 1,000 other motorcyclists took to the roads Sunday afternoon for the second annual Bob Probert Memorial Ride.

The ride began at Hotel Dieu-Grace Hospital in Windsor and came to Amherstburg, Colchester and Belle River before returning to the WFCU Centre for the events conclusion.

“It’s amazing, what an amazing day,” said Dani Probert, Bob’s widow. “I can’t believe the amount of people.”

Probert said she was very proud of the fact that her husbands name brought out so many people in support of his memory and Hotel Dieu-Grace Hospital.

When asked what was the best part of the day, Probert quickly put the focus on her children, being able to look over and see the smiles on her children’s faces in an event that is in name of their father was a “huge highlight.”

“I’m so happy for my kids,” she stated.

 

Rocca Stella directs motorcycle into the parking lot of the Verdi Club as riders begin to pour in.

Probert rode with Kennedy, long-time friend of Bob’s. She said riding with Kennedy brought her back to the days of riding with her husband.

Bob’s daughter, Brogan said her father always enjoyed giving back to the community.

“This is more than I could have imagined,” she said. “I’m really proud of what he did for the community. He was really a great man. He loved being part of the community and getting involved. He would have loved to be here today.”

Kennedy said Bob was a person who went through a lot of ups and downs in his life but was a person that people could relate to and who wanted to do a lot of good in life.

“The bottom line when you look at someone’s character and what they can do and how they give back I think this is a good representative of who Bob was and where his heart was,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy recalled how excited he was when the two first purchased motorcycles while playing in Detroit in the early 1990’s

“Bob would have loved to have been riding in this,” he stated.

He added that seeing the number of riders turnout for the event is “truly a breaktaking site.”

“It really blows you away when you get to one corner and you can’t see the other end of it,” Kennedy said.

Chelios said it was a fitting “tribute to Bob and all his friends.”

The former Detroit Red Wing said his family and the Probert family are close, forming a close friendship when the two played in Chicago.

Chelios remembers Bob as being “a real caring and loving guy.” He noted that the memorial ride has been good for the family, as it allows them to stay involved and keep busy. Chelios pointed out that Dani has been involved with the hospital since Bob’s death nearly two years ago.

Gilmore was also at a loss for words.

“This has been great. Quite amazing, especially at first, I really can’t explain it,” said Gilmore.

Gilmore said when Dani approached him about participating in the ride, he had no problem committing to such an event, as the cause hits close to home.

“My dad has had a triple bypass,” said Gilmore. “This is why we do thing like this.”

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