2016 Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis
The Sturgis Rally, above all, is the celebration of the V-twin. Of course, all two-wheeled bikes are welcome, in any shape or size, but when I think of the iconic Sturgis Rally, I think of American twins.
Indian Motorcycle, America’s oldest V-twin producer, is the proud sponsor of the "Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis" for the second-straight year. The 1,776 mile, multi-state tour motorcycle tour is means of therapy for wounded and amputee veterans, and will be supported by actor, producer and Indian Motorcycle enthusiast Mark Wahlberg.
“I'm so grateful to the participants in this year’s ride and all our veterans for their service to our country,” said Wahlberg. “This ride is a wonderful opportunity to support each other and enjoy the natural beauty of this great nation.”
I believe all who hold an M1 believe in a deeper meaning to motorcycling. It’s an activity that requires a clear mind and complete attention to the task at hand. So the idea of the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis, which selects veterans from all branches of the military to experience motorcycle therapy, makes much sense to me. During the trip, vets will use Indian motorcycles, trikes and Champion sidecars as they embark from LA to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. This year, 20 veterans will ride.
Wahlberg is one of many celebrities that has gravitated towards the motorcycle lifestyle. And when someone of notable interest aligns themselves with a positive cause larger than themselves, that’s something we can support. Wahlberg put together a short greeting video for this year’s Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis participants.
The program was the brainchild of veteran Army Paratrooper David Frey and Emmy Award-winning producer and director, Robert Manciero of Full Vision Productions. To help create lasting memories and explore the therapeutic nature of riding, the two teamed up and will be documenting the experience once again to show the possibility of moto-therapy to as many veterans as possible.
“We’ll spend over a week riding on America’s most beautiful roads, getting to know each other and helping each other through Motorcycle Therapy,” said Frey. “The shared experience of serving brings us together, veteran to veteran, to help each other heal. We also show the veterans just how much their service means to America by stopping in small towns along the way to meet the people of our nation who want to celebrate these brave men and women.”
Over the course of nine-days, they group will make planned stops, letting the public interact with them. Cities along the way are as follows: Las Vegas; Moab, Utah; Denver; and Hot Springs, S.D. Once at the rally, the veterans will spend an entire week riding the Black Hills, attending events and taking part in the ultimate “Sturgis Experience.”
“Indian Motorcycle is proud to be a founding sponsor of the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis in honor of the sacrifices made by these brave men and women,” said Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director Reid Wilson. “Indian Motorcycle has a long and proud heritage of supporting the U.S. Military and our troops over the course of the past century, and we are pleased to continue that tradition as a part of this noble and worthwhile initiative.”
Special events for our veterans at Sturgis include an exclusive luncheon with members of the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group on Aug. 7, the Legends Charity Memorial Ride on Aug. 8, VIP access to an evening of live music at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip on Aug. 10, the Freedom Celebration Ride departing Spearfish on Aug. 11 and a special shooting competition event at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip followed by an invite-only dinner at Indian Motorcycle of Sturgis on Aug. 12.
“Supporting our veterans by donating sidecars to accommodate amputee veterans in a safe, comfortable manner is something near and dear to our team and to me personally,” said Craig Arrojo, President of Champion Sidecars. “We are honored to be associated with such a worthy event, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Veterans Charity Ride for years to come.”
But a donation and well-wishing is just the start. This year, 20 veterans will be helped. Indian has stepped in to help those in need, regardless of their political feelings. Joining the military has always been a hotly contested conversation, it’s a multifaceted issue that isn’t as cut and dry as pundits would like to make. Indian has put something together to help those in need but there are still many out there, your neighbors, your friends, and your family, who need your help. The issues that veterans face are enormous but with anything else, if we begin to chip away at those problems and face them, they will be alleviated.
If you’d like to follow along, wish the veterans well or donate, but most importantly, hear their stories, please visit www.VeteransCharityRide.org and www.IndianMotorcycle.com. To learn more about Indian Motorcycle, head on over to www.IndianMotorcycle.com and of course, their social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram