Great Bike Ride for a Great Cause
The 2018 Warrior Bike Ride presented by Amazon Web Services was a huge success and well received by the community! Over 270 cyclists and 100 volunteers turned out to participate our first annual Warrior Bike Ride. It was amazing to see the support for our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured warriors. We raised over $65,000 in monetary and in-kind donations to support the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run host our nation’s recovering warriors. It was a great community event that everyone enjoyed, and it was so humbling to see so many complete strangers interacting and talking with each other. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive and folks are already looking forward to next year’s event.
Starting a new fundraiser from scratch is not easy. We are so grateful to our partners, outstanding sponsors, and supporting organizations that helped to make it happen. The Farm Brewery at Broad Run was an outstanding event venue and the “Special Op: Raspricot Beer” they crafted specifically for our event was delicious. Haymarket Bikes provided a Rest Stop in The Plains, Virginia and mechanical support for the cyclists. Amazon Web Services, the event Presenting Sponsor, not only helped the event financially but allowed us to fulfil a warrior’s dream and create Team Tomlin, a warrior bike team that rides in honor of Spc Jeremy Tomlin, USA who was killed in a helicopter crash in Leonardtown, MD on June 17th, 2017.
The wounded warriors benefited directly from the event in several ways. Training for the event allowed them to exercise which helps boost morale and physical fitness. It’s the one type of activity that those with back injuries can participate in. The creation of Team Tomlin was impactful for them in so many ways. The speech by Team Tomlin Captain Teri Onoda was incredibly touching to anyone who heard it. The opportunity to form a unit and ride in honor of a fallen comrade has deep meaning for these warriors. Some came from as far away as North Carolina to join the team. The family time together and meeting the community was also incredibly beneficial to them.
The riders really appreciated the great routes, route markers, and the support. Our Warrior Bike Ride had three rest stops and the event headquarters at The Farm Brewery and coordinated route support from motorcycles, bikes, police, and SAG vehicles driving the route to assist riders. Support requests were sent via radio through a HAM radio network set up throughout the 100 miles of the courses to medical and mechanical support located at the three rest stops and event base at the Farm Brewery. As the riders cleared parts of the course radio calls came into headquarters at the brewery as the Safety Director tracked the bikers around the various routes on her map like a dynamic board game. No injuries were reported but we did have a few calls for mechanical support and medical support for a few riders. Some heartwarming stories came from the interaction between the support teams and the riders. To read them see….(two blogs)
After the ride, participants and volunteers enjoyed a BBQ lunch, family games, and meeting one another. It was a great mix of corporate employees bonding over a beer, police officers and firemen visiting with citizens, wounded warriors and their families visiting with the community, families playing games, and everyone sharing stories of the bike rides. It was truly and event for the history books that celebrated community and the service and sacrifice of our nation’s wounded warriors.
All in all an amazing event!