The image of motorcycle riders can be deceiving for those who watch Sons of Anarchy but don’t ride a motorcycle. Many motorcycle clubs spend hours helping out local charities, hospitals and the military. Here are just a few of the motorcycle charity rides that are being run in 2014.
Destination Motorcycle Charity Rides
Trail of Tear Remembrance Motorcycle Ride – This ride is free along the 1000 miles through eight states that covers the route Native Americans tribes followed during their forced relocation from the southeastern states in the 1830s. Beginning on September 19, pre-rides will leave Cartersville, Ga., Cherokee, N.C., and Hopkinsville, Ky. to meet in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the main ride will begin on September 20. Heading 175 miles to Florence, AL, after a nights stay riders will then head out on a two-day, 670-mile ride to a destination in Oklahoma. Money is raised along the route through merchandise sales and then donated to a scholarship fund for Native American students.
Rolling Thunder Rider For Freedom – this is also known as the Ride to the Wall – bringing over 400,000 motorcycles to Washington D.C. on May 25th (the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). This ride is to raise public awareness of service members from every U.S. military conflict listed as prisoners of war or missing in action (POW/MIA). Named for Operation Rolling Thunder, a bombing campaign during the Vietnam War in 1965, the ride begins in the parking lot of the Pentagon and will travel across the Potomac River to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Sturgis 2014 – In Sturgis, S.D. from August 4th through August 10th, two motorcycle charity rides will be running during the largest annual motorcycle rally. The Mayor of Sturgis will lead the “Mayor’s Ride”, a scenic trip through the Black Hills, for a fee of $150.00. All the proceeds raised during this event will benefit the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department and the Sturgis Police Reserve. The second ride going on during Sturgis, the Legends Ride is a short 15 mile ride from Deadwood, S.D. to the Buffalo Chip Campground where motorcyclists can attend a reception and a concert. The $150 registration fee will benefit both the Black Hills Special Olympics and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame; organizers of this ride have proudly raised $325,000 since 2008.
Local Motorcycle Charity Rides
Motorcyclists looking to join a one day event closer to home can also check out these popular charity rides.
Ride for Kids – Benefiting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation with the support of American Honda Motor Corporation, this ride will take place in 37 U.S. cities throughout the year 2014. This local 40 or 50 mile ride followed by a reception helps fund grants for medical research and support programs for affected families. The ride is usually free with participants fundraising individually or as a team in the weeks and months leading up to the event.
Tour Of Honor – In honor of our veterans; this self-guided, self-paced ride takes motorcyclists in their home state to memorials, monuments and other sites that honor veterans. Currently, 40 different states have seven different designated locations where riders will photograph themselves at each site. The first rider to turn in their pictures from all seven locations will receive a trophy and all riders will receive a pin for their efforts. The event runs between April 1 through October 31, 2014 and has a $75 registration fee of which the first $10 will go towards the Wounded Warrior Project. Upon completion of the event, any extra profit after expenses will also go towards the project.
Local Clubs or Dealerships – finally, if you are looking for a local event, be sure to check out the websites of local clubs or dealerships in your area. Most motorcycle charity rides run by clubs or dealerships are not only minimal in cost, but a great way to make some new riding friends as well as help out those in need.