Indian Motorcycles has partnered with a veterans charity for the fifth year in a row. The manufacturer is supplying motorcycles to loan for this adventure and supporting the charity, too, in helping veterans return to civilian life.
The Veterans Charity Ride (VCR) supports veterans of the United States armed forces through motorcycle therapy. All of us who ride motorcycles know that the ride itself can be quite good therapy for our own minds and emotions. This charity puts veterans together: they ride motorcycles together and, most importantly, engage in peer mentoring when off the bikes.
Many of the bikes are outfitted with custom Champion side cars, since the programs VCR offers cater specifically to wounded, severely injured and amputee veterans who otherwise would not be able to pilot a two-wheeler. The ride leaves from Salt Lake City and ends in Sturgis, SD in time for the rally there.
The ride will take a little over a week. There are organized stops along the way, where the veterans are welcomed into towns and honored for the sacrifices they’ve made for our country.
This year, there will be seventeen veterans participating in the ride to Sturgis. Eight of them are returning riders who participated last year, and will act as mentors to the nine new riders to the event. Four of the participating veterans are women, the most the ride has ever had.
They’ll all spend time on the road getting to know each other and sharing their stories. If you’ve ever been on a multiple day motorcycle tour with friends you know what a powerful experience that trip can be, and how each day's end around a fire or a table can be therapeutic. Shared experiences on the road can lead to sharing similar past experiences. Veterans often do not talk about their time in war, but talking can help them to heal.
Reid Wilson, who is the Senior Director for Indian Motorcycles, says “each year we are touched by the inspiring stories from our veterans and the incredible growth they experience from the Veterans Charity Ride. We’re honored to continue our relationship with Veterans Charity Ride, and proud of the work they do for our veterans.”
The Veterans Charity Ride is a non-profit organization. If you’re feeling generous, you may donate to this fantastic cause at the link below.