Registration update: Nearly 400 patriots have registered for RFTW XXXIII since 11 September 2022. As I mentioned in the October newsletter, the sooner you register (CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY), the sooner RFTW (and Central Route) planners will be able to accurately assess (and arrange for) the needs of the Run across the country. But there’s another reason you should consider registering early – saving money. To encourage early registration, the RFTW Board of Directors (BOD) has decided to establish a sliding scale for registration costs:
We understand that many riders participating in RFTW are operating on a budget – most of us are. So, register early and save yourself some money. And, don’t forget to complete the Emergency Information Form while you’re registering online (more on that form later). Be sure to make copies of your registration and emergency information documents, and bring them with you (along with your driver/motorcycle license, motorcycle registration and proof of insurance) to Ontario, CA in May 2023.
In Ontario, all your documentation will be verified during the check-in process, and you be assigned to a platoon. Later, probably on Tuesday 16 May, you will attend a platoon meeting where you will meet your platoon leadership team, and receive a comprehensive briefing about the mission upon which you are about to begin. It is in this meeting, I’m convinced, that you will begin to establish an important relationship, one which will last far beyond your arrival in Washington D.C. Let’s talk briefly about these platoon leadership teams;
Platoon leadership: Platoon leadership teams consist of a platoon leader, an assistant platoon leader, and two tail gunners. These teams are made up of women and men, veterans, and non-veterans – patriots all. All are dedicated to the RFTW mission and committed to the safety of the riders in their platoons. All have completed a RFTW mission at least once by riding all the way on one of the routes. Many have been in a leadership role for several years. These volunteers have decided to come back to RFTW, to help others complete their (your) own mission. You will recognize members of platoon leadership teams by, and hear them referred to as, orange hats.
After departing Ontario, CA, your platoon leadership team will continue to guide you on your mission across this country. They will be your direct and daily source of the information and guidance you will need to be safe and successful on this ride. You will be required to attend platoon meetings every morning, during which your platoon leadership will reinforce important safety tips, recap the previous day’s events, and brief you on the destination and expectation for that day’s ride. At these morning meetings you will also have the opportunity to hear from road guards and chaplains, who will offer their observations and encouragement.
This process is repeated every day. As I said before, by the time you reach D.C., you will get to know your platoon leadership team intimately, and likely develop a close relationship (and friendship) with each one of them. This special relationship, moreover, often leads to an invitation to come back the next year to participate in some RFTW leadership role – in the platoons or in some specialty team like fueling or staging. Having said that, if along your way to Washington, D.C. you begin to entertain the idea of coming back and volunteering to help RFTW the next year, just let your platoon leadership know – they’ll be compiling a list of potential leaders as we cross the country.
Planning continues: We recently met with all state coordinators to discuss where they were in their respective state planning efforts. These are the “planners” we introduced in the October Newsletter. At this point, all state coordinators are reporting that there will be little or no changes in the Central Route itinerary for RFTW XXXIII in 2023. So, if you can find an itinerary from a previous Run (e.g., 2022), it may help you get a sense for what to expect in 2023.
As some of you may know, or have heard, during the last Run (RFTW XXXII, 2022), Central Route experienced some significant route planning challenges. Confronted with massive fires in New Mexico, heavy snows in Colorado, and major construction at the West Virginia state capitol, Central Route leadership, supported (or “rescued”) by state coordinators, managed to re-route, re-fuel, re-stage and re-house about 350 riders, plus support vehicle operators. These changes were successful, and may have appeared seamless to most riders. However, I can assure you that in a very short span of time there were a great many urgent phone calls and map reviews, forward scouting missions and radio transmissions (and hair-pulling), before things finally fell into place. So, as I mentioned in the October newsletter, during the next Run, find a state coordinator and thank them for their planning efforts, and their dedication to RFTW and its mission.
Volunteer Positions: Finally, we have received a very good response in our call for volunteers. And as mentioned in that newsletter platoon leaderships positions are filled. However, the fuel team and staging team are still in need of volunteers. So, if you have completed the RFTW mission by riding all the way on one of the routes, please consider submitting a volunteer form. We will forward your request to the appropriate team leader, and someone will reach out to you and discuss the opportunities. And keep in mind that some volunteer positions do not require that you ride a motorcycle (e.g., the registration team, hydration, etc.). Keep the volunteer request forms coming. (CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER)