Eagle will offer up support for a group of wounded combat veterans when they roar into town Wednesday on board some roaring Indian motorcycles as part of the 2017 Veteran’s Charity Ride.
The charity ride goes from Los Angeles to Sturgis, South Dakota, and is a trek for wounded and amputee combat veterans. They make the trip piloting specially designed Indian motorcycles, some equipped with sidecars. The program was launched in 2014.
According to the Veterans Charity Ride website, organizer Dave “Indian Dave” Frey came up with the idea while riding solo to the Sturgis Bike Rally.
“Along the way Dave met a fellow paratrooper and they talked about fellow veterans who were returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the difficult time so many are having with severe injuries, post traumatic stress and adjusting to civilian life after their war experiences,” the website reads. “Thousands have been severely wounded, some with amputations, many with psychological injuries such as post traumatic stress and other physical injuries that you cannot see like traumatic brain injury. On the ride back home, Dave couldn’t stop thinking about his fellow veterans and wanted to do something special for them and make a difference in their lives. Then it hit him — let’s use motorcycles to help our veterans.”
Frey reached out to his business partner Robert Manciero, Emmy Award winning producer-director and told him about his ideas. They came up with the concept of a ride which would include the therapeutic effects of riding a motorcycle and create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded veterans. At the same time they would film the ride so the message could be shared with as many veterans as possible.
Needing bikes, sidecars and support, Dave contacted Indian Motorcycles and Craig Arrojo, president of Champion Sidecars. After explaining the program and their needs, both companies agreed to help support the event.
A GREAT BIG EAGLE WELCOME
On the way to Sturgis, the charity ride includes stops in Las Vegas, Bryce Canyon and Moab, Utah. This past year, the riders visited Craig before heading out to Denver.
According to Jeremy Gross, Eagle special events coordinator, a local group of motorcycle enthusiasts found out about the ride and decided to lobby the organizers to include Eagle on the itineray. They succeeded and on Wednesday night, the Veterans Charity Ride participants will be in town for a party at The Dusty Boot beginning at 4:30 p.m.
“We really want to show these veterans the support of this community,” Gross said. “We want everyone to come out and cheer them in.”
Actually, any Vail Valley resident who owns a street legal motorcycle is urged to come out and join the ride.
HONOR WITH AN ESCORT
The Veteran’s Charity Ride is slated to arrive at Grand River Park in New Castle at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday. They will visit the Will “Pyro” Duboise memorial and then depart at 3:45 p.m. for a police escort ride to Eagle.
“If you have a motorcycle, we want you to ride with them,” Gross said.
Once they arrive to their heros’ welcome, Gross said the vets will be ready for an Eagle party and their bikes will be set up on display. There will be a $5 suggested donation at the door at The Dusty Boot and that will buy one beer. Kegs have been donated for the event so the proceeds will go to the Veteran’s Charity Ride.
To learn more about the event and the organization, visit http://www.veteranscharityride.org.