It’s June 5, 2023, which means that it’s just four days before the 2023 edition of the Nicky Hayden Memorial Ride in honor of the MotoGP champion’s life and career. If you’re located in or near the Kentucky Kid’s hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky, you’re cordially invited to participate in the motorcycle ride, which will start at the Nicky Hayden Memorial Statue on Locust Street in Owensboro.
The ride is organized by the Nicky Hayden Memorial Foundation, which posted its plans to make announcements about the charities to which it will be donating funds right before the ride. Hayden loved his community, and children, and his hometown—so that’s what the Foundation named in his honor continues to support.
Riders can begin gathering at the statue at 4:30 p.m. in anticipation of the start time of the ride. Kickstands will lift at 6:09 p.m., in keeping with the champ’s now-retired official racing number. According to organizers, it will stop halfway through at Nicky’s final resting place, and then return to local restaurant Lure Seafood and Grille to celebrate the lives of both Nicky and Earl Hayden.
In 2022, Nicky’s brothers, Tommy and Roger, led the Nicky Hayden Memorial Ride on June 9. Here’s video from last year, courtesy of Roger Hayden:
What if you want to honor Nicky Hayden’s life, but you’re not anywhere near Kentucky? The Road 2 Recovery Foundation (R2R), which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping American Motorcycle Assocation (AMA)-licensed racers who sustain debilitating injuries (R2R International also supports Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme-licensed professional racers), is also organizing an international ride in Nicky Hayden’s honor.
Like the NHMF ride, it's scheduled to take place on June 9, 2023—but at 7 a.m. instead of 6:09 p.m. (So theoretically, if you’re in Kentucky, you could maybe even do both if you wanted.)
The R2R’s ride is a bicycle ride rather than a motorcycle ride—which is also fitting, since Nicky Hayden, like many motorcyclists, was also an avid bicyclist. This ride is an international event—so you can do it on your own, wherever you happen to be. If you’d prefer to ride 6.9 miles on your cycle trainer in the comfort of your air conditioning, that’s up to you. Heck, R2R says—if you don’t have a bicycle to ride, you can also just walk 6.9 miles in Nicky’s honor instead.
The R2R Nicky Hayden ride is free to participate in, and you can register via the link in our Sources. Both the Nicky Hayden Memorial Foundation and the Road 2 Recovery offer official Nicky Hayden 69 gear you can purchase to support their efforts, with proceeds going to benefit whichever foundation’s charitable works that you order from.