When Al Kenesky pulls up and dismounts from his 2005 Road Glide Harley Davidson, people tend to take notice.
That’s not surprising. Not only is Harley Davidson an iconic brand of motorcycle, but this one is even more so, as it is the cherry red, motorized personification of an iconic brand of beer.
That brand is Lucky Lager, which until 1982 was brewed in Victoria, prior to moving its operation to Edmonton.
“The bike has 42 beer caps on it and a $10,000 paint job,” he said. “People want to take pictures because it’s Lucky Lager and also because it’s beautiful.”
Indeed, the bike also boasts some artistic eye candy, with paintings of Vancouver Island scenes on both sides, with Long Beach, the Bastion, the Nanaimo bathtub race, a bear with a salmon in its mouth and orcas in the background — more than enough to make people stop and stare.
Kenesky likes it when they do that. After all, he’s riding for a reason.
“I started my own foundation and I raise money to help women with cancer,” he said. “Over the past five years I’ve raised over $14,000 with the Ride for Dad for Prostate Cancer, B.C. Children’s Hospital and the B.C. Breast Cancer Foundation.”
Although he doesn’t have cancer himself and his life has been relatively untouched by the dreaded disease, Kenesky said he helps out because it’s the right thing to do.
“I am a firm believer in the idea that if I don’t do it, who will?” he said. “I have an engraving on the bottom of the bike that is one of the things I live by. It says: What we do for ourselves dies with us, but what we do for others in the world remains and is immortal. “
He stressed that the money he raises stays on Vancouver Island and is not put towards raising awareness or funding research, but rather goes to help women suffering from cancer to cope with the day-to-day needs that so many take for granted.
“It’s meant to help women who need the money for bus rides or wigs or whatever it is they need,” he said. “My goal for the end of the summer is to raise $10,000 and I’m already up to $2,500 in the past six weeks.”
To reach his goal, Kenesky has booked himself and his machine — along with a second, similarly beautiful bike, at various events and venues around Vancouver Island over the next few months.
“I’ll be all over the Island,” he said. “I’m at the Rod and Gun on July 7, at the Frontiersman on August 24 and on the August long weekend I’ll be at Deez.”
It’s a beautiful bike, an iconic beer and a good cause. Kenesky is clearly on to something.
Kenesky can be reached on Facebook at lucky1charity.