The nonprofit organization Motorcycle Relief Project (MRP) has announced dates for its 2016 rides and is currently accepting applications. This year, new rides have been added in Arizona, California and a women’s ride in Utah. These rides are 5-day adventure bike tours specifically designed to help veterans and active military with PTSD and other invisible injuries get unstuck, decompress, connect with other veterans and take meaningful steps toward recovery. Tours feature a combination of on-road and moderate off-road riding including some of the most scenic two-lane roads in the country as well as some amazing jeep trails and forest roads.
“Our experience last year proved the value these rides have for our military service members,” said Tom Larson, founder of MRP. “The rides during the day lead to some really remarkable breakthroughs and helpful conversations at night. Both participants and volunteers agree that these rides do a world of good.”
March 6-12 — Arizona (Tucson area)
April 3-9 — California (Sky Rose Ranch near Paso Robles)
April 17-23 — California (Sky Rose Ranch near Paso Robles)
May 9-13 — Utah (Moab) Women’s Ride
June 13-17 — Colorado
July 11-15 — Colorado
August 22-26 — Colorado
September 19-23 — Colorado
October 23-29 — Arizona or California (TBD)
November 13-19 — Arizona or California (TBD)
The rides are controlled with a lead rider in front and a sweep rider in back, and all participants are asked to ride with safety as the main priority. Participants must have at least a year of experience riding motorcycles, but no previous off-road experience is required. These rides are about getting out in nature and enjoying scenery and camaraderie with other riders—not showing off, being competitive, or pushing the limits.
A support vehicle carries participants’ luggage as well as food, tools, etc. Riders who already own a dual-sport or adventure bike are encouraged to bring their own bikes. Riders who do not already own an adventure bike are provided the use of a BMW GS adventure bike from the MRP fleet of bikes. Accommodations will be in comfortable lodges, where group members will be able to unwind from the day’s adventures and join in group discussions around the campfire or lodge fireplace. Participants will learn simple techniques for relaxing and dealing with trauma that can help them better manage their internal stress and move toward recovery.
Dates and locations for the 2016 rides are subject to change based on funding, accommodations, road conditions, registration numbers and other factors. Veterans who apply and are accepted are asked to pay a $100 deposit. The remainder of the cost is covered through donations. For more information, visit motorelief.org.