Ronnie Gibbs just wants to bring a little joy to everyone’s holiday. That’s why he’s turned to a Grinch suit and his green motorcycle this year, hoping his rides around town just might help people remember the Christmas holiday and get their minds off COVID-19.
“Everything going on in 2020…like COVID-19, people losing their jobs, hard to pay rent, just basically suffering,” Gibbs said. “I just wanted to bring joy and happiness to people.”
Gibbs just started in the recent days, riding down different freeways and streets in San Diego. He remained elusive for the most part till photos and videos of him around town started to circulate on social media, with people wanting to know whose the man behind the mask.
“I knew it was going to get out,” Gibbs said. “I just didn't know it was going to get out like this.”
And the Grinch wasn’t a random choice. His love for the Grinch runs deep. He’s got the green man himself inked on his arm and says it was the first movie he ever saw.
“That was the first like Christmas movie I saw when I was a kid before Rudolph and all that,” Gibbs said. “That's when I became the biggest fan.”
Antwone Howard, a fellow biker, says Gibbs truly is the Grinch.
“His story behind who he is and how he grew up, kind of relates to the Grinch,” Howard said. “You know how the Grinch was just an orphanage kid…wasn’t liked, looked different.”
And says Gibbs transformed himself into someone who wanted to do good in the community. He says Gibbs couldn’t wait to step into character.
“I was there when it came in the mail, I was just dying about it,” Howard said. “He was so excited to be able put it on and be able to ride and uplift people especially during this time of COVID.”
Howard told NBC 7 the feedback has been amazing in the community during a time when support is needed the most.
“People of all ethnicities and backgrounds are supporting are him, and he's inspiring them and you know, creating laughter and happiness and bringing back hope,” Howard said.
But for Gibbs, all of this comes at no cost. He just wants love to find its way back into the holiday season after a year that’s taken away so much from so many.
"Just to bring happiness toward the kids and families, that's it,” Gibbs said. “Not asking for everything, just doing it out of my heart.”
Gibbs says he’ll be back on the road again on Monday and this time is expected to ride through La Jolla. He says he’s also preparing for some upcoming charity work, including Above Average MC’s blanket drive for the homeless on December 9. COVID-19 has brought the Grinch out of Gibbs, and he says pandemic or no pandemic, he’s here to stay.
“As of this year, with all the feedback I've gotten, I'm gonna make it a tradition every year,” Gibbs said.