by Randy Wyrick
EAGLE — A group of highway heroes will roll through on Wednesday, Aug. 1, on their way to Sturgis.
The Veterans Charity Ride takes wounded and amputee veterans to the Sturgis Bike Rally on Indian Motorcycles and Champion sidecars.
The ride and program was conceived by Army Airborne Paratrooper Dave “Indian Dave” Frey while riding his Indian Chieftain to the Sturgis Bike Rally in 2014. Along the way, he met a fellow paratrooper from his same unit and they quickly became friends. They talked about fellow veterans who were returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and how so many are having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life after their war experiences.
“We spend over a week riding America’s most beautiful roads, getting to know each other and helping each other with motorcycle therapy,” Frey said. “We also show the veterans just how much their service means to America, by stopping in towns along the way to meet the people of our grateful nation to celebrate these brave men and women.”
Wednesday is Eagle County’s turn. They’ll stop for lunch in Eagle Town Park around noon, depending on how long it takes them to ride from Moab, Utah, and be hosted for a 6 p.m. party at The Dusty Boot.
In the past three years, more than 45 vets from all over the United States have made the trip.
Last year, one veteran made the entire trip in a sidecar. This year, Indian built him his own motorcycle.
Indian Motorcycles got involved because Frey and business partner Emmy Award-winning producer and director Robert Manciero asked them. Then they reached out to Craig Arrojo, president of Champion Sidecars, who also immediately said yes.
The result of all that cooperation will be on full display Wednesday when the group stops in Eagle.