Being proactive in communities and contributing to important causes around the world is a key component of adventure motorcycling for many. What we found in our moto-centric group are big-hearted individuals who use motorbikes as the catalyst, and often the tools, for giving back. Taking on such projects requires one heck of a lot of effort, and there are a few organizations out there pooling their resources to ensure not just the community around them, but also the world, is a better place. To bring some of these folks and their projects to your attention, we talked to a few of them about their organizations.
MOTOR CYCLE RELIEF
NDV Tell us how motorcycles have influenced your organization.
TOM LARSON : Motorcycles provide the common denominator that draws veterans and first responders to our program. We put on five-day “Relief Rides” in which we take participants into the Colorado mountains or the Arizona desert and provide a professional instructor to teach them how to ride ADV bikes. We have a fleet of 14 BMW adventure bikes available for the rides for those who do not have their own. And instructors from RawHyde Adventures, BMW Performance Center, Dragoo Adventure Rider Training, and West38Moto have been providing us with top-notch coaching. We do amazing rides and then return to the lodge for dinner, followed by evening workshops to teach concepts and tools for getting “unstuck” and on the road to better directions in life. The passion for motorcycling creates a common bond, helping to establish the trust and camaraderie necessary for our groups to be effective.Pretty much everyone who’s involved in our program—staff, participants, volunteers and donors—understands the therapeutic benefits of riding and sees what a great tool it is for bringing people together to blow off steam and to work on their unresolved issues. Motorcycles are at the center of what we do as a nonprofit.
NDV What inspired you to get involved in philanthropic work?
TL: Although I didn’t serve in the military, I’ve had to deal with issues of depression, anxiety, anger and resentment. At one point I realized that if my own relatively mild condition interferes with my life as much as it does, then it has to be exceedingly more difficult for those who’ve been through much more intense trauma. I also realized that when I ride, all the noise in my head seems to fade away. One day while reading a motorcycle magazine, I had the light bulb moment of using ADV bikes in the mountains of Colorado to help kickstart the healing process for men and women stuck in dark places, struggling to see any light at the end of their tunnels.
NDV Who is impacted the most by the work your organization does?
TL:Our participants are primarily military veterans and first responders who struggle with PTSD and related issues like depression and anxiety. Their trauma isn’t exclusive to combat, we’ve also had participants share trauma related to sexual assault, substance abuse, domestic violence, murder, suicide, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, motor vehicle accidents, search and rescue operations, and many other traumatic events related to hazardous occupations. We don’t limit participation to any specific category of trauma. Although the majority of our participants are combat veterans, we’ve also served first responders who were at the World Trade Center on 9/11 as well as other police, firefighters and EMS personnel who’ve been deeply emotionally affected by intense situations relating to or as a result of their jobs.
NDV How has CV19 affected your efforts?
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THE YOUNGEST TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD? JACK GROVES
In the age of electronics, hyper-communications, and convenience, it’s untrue that the world’s youth have lost the taste for adventure. There will always be an element within the human spirit that demands and grows from new life experiences—an instinct as old as Mankind. And you don’t have to look far to find it.
Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Drystar
Motocross boots have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, but that hasn’t been the case in the ADV segment, and we often have to sacrifice proper protection for dry feet. Meet the new Alpinestars Tech 7 Drystar enduro boot. We’ve been waiting for a boot like this for quite some time and, to this day, it still boggles my mind that it took so long.
SLIDING FOR ADVENTURE
For the last 25 years I’ve been riding off road on everything from a 450cc lightweight to a heavily laden 1200cc adventure motorcycle. Although I was usually able to handle anything through rough terrain at slower speeds, I struggled at higher speeds on loose surfaces. And the biggest pucker moments occurred while approaching tight turns on gravel roads at high speed—barely navigating them safely.
National Cycle VStream Sport Windscreen for Honda Africa Twin
There are many ways to improve motorcycle rider comfort, covering everything from bar risers to footpegs. Having done almost all of them, I decided to switch out my stock windscreen to see if it made a difference, especially on long trips.
TIN CAN TO TIN CUP A LONG OVERDUE TRIP
Long before the modern U.S. highway system was built, with rest stops, 24-hour fuel, and every imaginable packaged food choice on hand, there were the “Tin Can Tourists,” the original American motorized overlanders. As early as the 1900s, these wanderers faced many of the same challenges we live with today. But life was far simpler for the Tin Can Tourist traveling dusty, rutted tracks in meagerly powered vehicles, camping off roadsides in canvas tents, and eating cans of beans over Sterno stoves. Fifteen months ago, we sold our house to join this rambling lifestyle.
R&R for an RN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
A mid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, I needed to find the quiet serenity that comes on two wheels. As a nurse educator in a trauma-based tertiary hospital, I’m deep in the trenches, responsible for disseminating information and implementing health regulations to frontline workers. Inundated with fear from global news, increasing numbers of the infected, lack of resources, and a palpable universal panic as the world began to shut down, I needed to be away from it all for a while.
RAM Tough-Charge X-Grip Waterproof Wireless Charging Motorcycle Mount
RAM Mounts were first introduced in 1995, and over the last 25 years their ball and socket system has become the most ubiquitous way to mount devices wherever you need them. Recently they increased functionality to include Qi wireless charging with the Tough-Charge line of mounts.
HOW TO SURVIVE an Adventure Ride
I’m no expert endurance rider or a professional fitness instructor, but what I can do is ride my motorcycle continuously for five long days and feel physically content at the end of the trip. Okay, maybe after the celebratory beers, I might not feel as good on the morning of the sixth day, but at least my muscles will be relaxed. So, what can you do to prepare for an upcoming off-road adventure to stay strong, enjoy the ride and be able to dismount at the end of the day without calling friends over to pry you off your bike? Here are a few tips from personal experiences that will help you succeed.
Touratech Aventuro Traveller Carbon Helmet
Touratech has a long history of taking great helmets and adding their own features to make them stand apart. Their newest offering, the Aventuro Traveller Carbon, is no different. It’s built upon the Nexx X.Vilijord, a helmet not sold in North America but one that sits at the pinnacle of the Portuguese brand’s line-up. The Aventuro Traveller becomes its own with a full carbon shell, signature Touratech look, and easy accommodation for just about any communication system available.
2Up and Overloaded
Chicago to Panama
TOO MUCH STUFF? FLOW AND F.L.O.W.
Inspired by Benedictine simplicity, BECKY GARRISON looks for ways to keep her space less cluttered.
Flying the FW 190
A legend gets checked out in the Butcher Bird
FRANTIC SHANNEN DOUBLES DOWN ON HUNT FOR MIRACLE CURE
DESPERATE Shannen Doherty continues to be ravaged by the debilitating effects of breast cancer — but insiders said it’s only fueled her determination to find a miracle cure!
GOLDIE & KURT ARE KAPUT!
Separate bedrooms after furious fight
DAYS: JUSTIN AND KAYLA'S WEDDING DAY DRAMA
Kayla and Justin’s wedding day arrives, but the bride and the groom are both conflicted about taking the big step. Justin shares his concerns with Sonny during breakfast. “Justin has some uncertainty going into this wedding,” notes his portrayer, Wally Kurth. “He has some insecurities about Kayla’s feelings for him.”
HOW LOVE SAVED ME
AS SHE WAGES A BRAVE BATTLE AGAINST BREAST CANCER, SHANNEN DOHERTY FEELS BLESSED TO HAVE A HUSBAND WHO’S HER GUIDING LIGHT.
WEEPING GOLDIE'S MENTAL MELTDOWN
Romance with Kurt hitting rocks over domestic abuse nightmares
GOLDIE & KURT'S WEDDING AXED!
Nuptials nixed after brutal brawl is caught on camera
COOL, CAPABLE - AND CONTROVERSIAL
How did Kurt Beiermeister make his way to this ’08 FJ Cruiser—and why are people talking about it?
You Don't Know Jack
Jack Young may be Baltimore’s most unlikely modern mayor. Will he keep the job?