Posted on Leave a comment

Southern Route Coordinator News – April 2020 Early Edition

Hello to the Southern Route Faithful

Usually at this time I am beginning my annual mad thrash getting everything ready for another Run on the Southern Route.  But now, I am working to make sure we haven’t forgot to cancel all of the 1001 things related to the postponement of RFTW XXXII to 2021.

Let’s just say, at the least, we are all disappointed by this.  Many have said that we could have just delayed it for a week, a month, or two or three.  Uncertainty is the only thing that is certain now and when the decision was made.  Some have talked about making plans to “go anyway”.  I believe in your dedication, BUT it is way, way to early to make any kind of plans.  The best thing you can do now is keep Yourselves and Families heathy, follow the guidelines for your area and support your community.

I would like to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to ALL of our supporters across this Wonderful Country.  Especially to our State Coordinators, who work mostly behind the scenes, they are our Unsung Heroes.  They coordinate our local supporters who provide us so much in the way of meals, hotel contacts, fuel and fundraising.  State Coordinators are literally our boots on the ground.  Hopefully a lot of their hard work can slide right into 2021

Our engagement with others we meet along the way is a cornerstone of our Mission.  Support is not a one-way street; we also give back to the local communities.  Since we won’t be able to fundraise in the usual ways, we have setup a donation page on the RFTW Facebook page.  An explanation of how the funds will be used is there. The schools and students can certainly use our generosity in these hard times.

Posted on Leave a comment

Southern Route Coordinator News – March 2020 Part 4

Yes, the 2020 Run For The Wall is cancelled and we are all disappointed.  But the Run is only a part of the Mission.  Please don’t let disappointment ruin your enthusiasm.  I personally refuse to give any credit to some virus, who’s name I will not mention, for cancelling the Run.  We care about the wellness of our Riders’ and Supporters’ personal safety.

The Mission has no start or end date.  It will end when They are ALL Home.  If you have read the other RC Newsletters, and I hope you do, there is plenty we can do to stay Mission active.  We will begin planning RFTW XXXII 2021 edition very soon.  Also, in the works is Some great ALL Rider Reunions.  Kerrville, TX dates are September 24-27 always an event filled long weekend.  Over Labor Day weekend is the Angel Fire, NM Reunion, at one of the most beautiful parts of America.  I hear the another is in the planning stages for 4th of July weekend.  Check the rftw.us website forum under Regional Gatherings for more details.  I have been to the previous 8 Kerrville and the previous 3 Angel Fire Reunions.  They are a good way to recharge the spirit in between the Run dates.

For those who ordered the 20th Anniversary T-Shirts, they will be there for you in 2021.

Depending on where you live, you might try a little wind therapy.  Here in Nevada the Gov has shut down all non-essential services, which includes Casinos and even the Cat Houses, if you can believe that.

On this day 50 years ago, 23MAR70, I went off to boot camp.  I left cold and windy Chicago for sunny San Diego.  I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.  But I knew I had to learn fast and when faced with difficulty, adapt and overcome.   As I look back now, I think that feeling has been with me my whole life.  Why am I telling you this?  Hopefully soon this crisis will be behind Us, and We as a Nation will be Smarter and Stronger for it.  RFTW STRONG

Posted on Leave a comment

Southern Route Coordinator News – March 2020 Part 3

By now I’m sure you have heard the 2020 RFTW has been cancelled.  Who would have thought that after all of the obstacles we have faced and overcome, we would be sidelined by a virus.   The decision was not an easy one, but when it comes down to the Health and Safety of our Riders and Supporters coupled with CDC guidelines, ever increasing State and Local restrictions left us with really no options.  A great many riders are enduring a huge financial burden, due to related business closures, making it impossible to participate in 2020.  I have heard form many of you that you have had to use your savings and vacation time to get through this crisis with little or no income.

For those who made reservations at the host hotel Holiday Inn in Casa Grande, the entire room block is cancelled.  All other hotels are the riders responsibility to cancel.

So, what do we do going forward?  The RFTW Board of Directors has voted to retain all 2020 Route Coordinators for the 2021 Run.  Once the initial shock wears off, we will begin planning next year’s Run.  It will still be the Southern Route’s 20th Anniversary, just a year later.  If you have questions or thoughts on planning for Southern Route, email me at bob.nelson@rftw.us

We WILL get through this.  Until then Stay Safe.  More to Follow…..

Posted on Leave a comment

Southern Route Coordinator News – March 2020

With only 70 days until KSU in Ontario I thought that I would share some new developments with you.

In Ontario, there will be Visitor Guides should anyone like to get in a little sightseeing in Ontario, before we leave.   We will also have newly printed Restaurant Guides for your convenience.  There will also be a “Get Together” Sunday night, after Leadership Registration, and a cake Decorating Contest on Monday afternoon which we will get to Judge (Cakes done by a local Culinary School).  Stay tuned for more details.

Also, for our RFTW Family coming out to CA that come up the I-10 and go thru Coachella stopping for fuel there is the Spotlight Casino there and they have restaurants in case someone would like a warm sit down meal instead of fast food. The Spotlight Casino is our first fuel stop on the Southern Route. Their hours are:  Carol Olmstead Recommended

  • Capitata
  • Breakfast Menu: 7am-11am
  • Dinner Buffet Sun-Thurs: 4pm-10pm
  • Dinner Buffet Fri & Sat: 4pm-12 midnight
  •  Jem Café
  • Mon & Tues: Closed
  • Wed-Thurs: 11am-10pm
  • Fri & Sat: 11am-2am
  • Sunday: 10am-10pm

Yesterday I sent out an announcement looking for volunteers for the Korean War Veterans Memorial.  We had our 10 within hours, and a stand-by list of another 10.  Thank You Southern Route for stepping up to the challenge.   If you are on the Sandbox Route or participating in the AMVETS Rolling to Remember (RTR), you cannot take part in the Washing, do to time constraints.

For those planning to participate in the RTR and go with the RFTW, the staging will be the same as Rolling Thunder in the Pentagon Parking Lot.  As invited guests, we will be staged in one of the first 3 Lanes.  Here is the current plan; 0600 Stage in the Holiday Inn lower parking lot, 0630 depart for the Pentagon Parking Lot (CR Road Guards will lead), NOON Rolling To Remember.

**** There is a poll on our Facebook page to try to gather total numbers to give to AMVETS, The poll is pinned to the top of the page. ****

Reminder Don’t wait until the last minute to get YOU and your bike in good working order.  I just ordered new tires yesterday.   Believe it or not, the Corona Virus has caused shortages and delays for a multitude of products and supplies.

Posted on Leave a comment

Special Announcement

Run For The Wall has been chosen for a Great Honor.  On Sunday May 24, 2020 we will assist the National Park Service (NPS) with the washing of the Korean War Memorial.  The group will leave the Holiday Inn Ballston, KSU at 0600 with a 0630 start time.  It will likely take only 2-2.5 Hours to complete. Many hands make light work

As RFTW and its riders support the Fallen from All Wars, we should be eager to support this Special Mission, as an extension of our own Mission.  Many of us have Family or Friends who served in Korea.  If we can get 30 volunteers, that’s 10 for each of the 3 long Routes, we can make short work of it, and know that we were a part of something very special.

Just let your Route Coordinator (RC) know that you are committed to this Special Mission, by sending an email along with your cellular number and email address.  If we get more than 30, we will start a standby list.

Southern Route RC email address is : bob.nelson@rftw.us

Posted on Leave a comment

Southern Route Coordinator News Feb 2020 #2

Only 80 days before kickstands up in Ontario.  It seems like a long, long time when you are waiting.  But, when you are working the details, time is flying by.  Speaking of flying, we just got back from the February Face-to-Face meeting of the RFTW Board of Directors, in Dallas.   It was a very productive meeting where topics which affect all Routes were discussed.  Among them were Hydration availability in Ontario, Several common sense cost cutting measures, Behavior of Dogs the Run, Parking at the host hotel in Arlington.

We will have a Hydration Trailer in Ontario, starting on Sunday.  There is usually water available in the lobby, but with this crowd it is almost impossible to keep up with the demand. 

Many of the Leadership Support persons will only wear one brassard, if they do not need to be identifiable while on the road.  Some positions were combined or eliminated.   The change to one Tail Gunner per platoon was based on practicality, not to cut cost.

Behavior of Dogs is pretty straight forward, they must be on a leash or in your physical control at all times, do not let your dog beg, bark or bite.  This is a motorcycle event, and it is hard enough on us.  I ask that you Please think twice before subjecting your dog to this environment.

As of right now, the number one plan for Arlington arrival parking is, we will all (except 4-wheelers) pull into the Holiday Inn upper lot, where we will stack in 4-wide and stay on our bikes.  Once everyone is in, we will exit 2-wide, those staying at the Holiday Inn will go left to the underground parking and those staying elsewhere will go to the right.  Southern Route will be the second route to arrive.

The 2020 Southern Route Itinerary should be posted on the rftw.us website by March 1st.   We will take orders for the 20th Anniversary Southern Route T-Shirts until April 10th.  They are $25 for Short Sleeve and $35 for the long sleeve.  We also have some of the 20th Anniversary patches available.  Please refer to earlier newsletters for ordering information.

More to Follow……

Posted on Leave a comment

Board of Directors Openings

The RFTW Board of Directors is soliciting applications from riders interested in serving on the Board. There will be three (3) vacancies on July 1st, 2020 due to term limits.  The positions being vacated are Treasurer, Director of Merchandise, and Director of Operations & Training.  Because sitting members have the option of moving into vacant seats, these may not be the same positions being filled.

Anyone is eligible to apply, but it should be understood that the Board places a high priority on experience and past service to the Run in leadership and service positions when evaluating candidates.

If you would like to apply for a position on the Board of Directors, please submit a resume with an overview of your work history and a detailed recounting of your RFTW experience, including your FNG year, the number of times you’ve ridden with RFTW (both as a Participant and ATW), which route(s) you’ve ridden, and what leadership or service positions you’ve held.  We also ask that you submit a short cover letter explaining why you wish to join the Board.  Please send these to dave.klemme@rftw.us by March 31st, 2020.

We hope to hear from you. Remember… decisions are made by those who step up.

Person placeholder
Your Name Here
Open Positions
RFTW is looking for a few good people to fill expiring terms. If interested, please submit your resume to one of the current board members.

Posted on Leave a comment

Southern Route Coordinator News – February 2020

Greetings form the Battle Born state

Just 100 days before Kick Stands Up for Run For The Wall XXXII.  That mat sound like a lot of time. But believe me it will go by fast for Leadership, and for others, seem like forever.

By now I would expect you have your hotel reservations made, your plan to get to Ontario (or wherever your starting point is), scheduled your bike check-up and started your personal wellness plan.  If you haven’t, it’s not too late to start.

I would like to thank Bob “Captain” Mazzone, our Road Guard Captain for making four Great Looking Stained-Glass Panels with wood frames.  They measure 14” wide x 16” tall.  He made a unique one for each Route.  The Southern Route panel pictured here will be raffled off with the proceeds going to the Southern Route Educational Grant & Schools Fund.   It will be on display at our Merchandise Trailer.  Tickets will be on sale starting in Ontario.  The cost for tickets will be $5 each or 5 tickets for $20.  The drawing will be help in Wytheville, VA at the Moose Lodge as part of our evening program. 

Southern Route

The Ontario pre-Run itinerary has been posted.  Meetings for Route Leadership will begin Monday morning.  Please note the Mandatory events on Tuesday and be sure to be there for them.  Speaking of Ontario, at the Gateway Hotel the parking area to the right of the entrance will be limited to motorcycles and trikes only.  Starting Sunday night until KSU on Wednesday it will be patrolled by security.

The pre-sale orders for the Southern Route 20th Anniversary T-Shirts are underway and doing well.  I would like all who get one, to wear them on Saturday May 23rd for our massive group photo on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  It would be awesome to see a sea of maroon shirts there.  For the FNG’s this photo is taken just prior to the placing of our Mission Complete Plaque at the apex of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.  The order form and instructions can be found on our Facebook page.  Again, the profits benefit the Southern Route Education Fund.

Our first day’s itinerary is really taking shape, this year we will bypass Phoenix altogether and travel through Buckeye and Gila Bend on our way to our overnight destination Casa Grande, AZ   The local communities have shown great support for our  Mission and are looking forward to our arrival.  We owe a lot of Thanks to our Great Arizona State Coordinator Team for turning an idea into a reality.    The complete Route itinerary is coming together, and I hope to have a draft posted before the end of the month.

We still have some of the 20th Anniversary Commemorative Patches available.

Keep checking the website and RC Newsletters for the latest news……….

Posted on Leave a comment

Gunny Gregory and The South Carolina Biker’s Hall of Fame Induction

 “GySgt James Gregory, founder of RFTW, will be inducted into the South Carolina Biker Hall of Fame on Feb 22 at 1800 in Murrel’s Inlet, South Carolina.  All are welcome to attend – if attending please send reply to Doug Lyvere (Southern Route Road Guard and Director of Operations and Training on the RFTW Board of Directors) Doug@Lyvere.com or call at 415-309-2510 so he can get a headcount of those attending. If you wish to send a congratulatory email, please send to Bikergunny@msn.com

1989 Gunny Getting ready to Ride

Posted on Leave a comment

WHY I RIDE

In case no-one noticed, we have started up a “Why I Ride” page on the rftw.us website. This is a totally voluntary thing to participate in. We would love to hear your story and publish it on our website, Facebook page and groups and our Twitter account. If you are interested please email communications@rftw.us I will send you a brief questionnaire and have you fill it out and send it back. I will then take a look and clean up any formatting or other issues and send you a link to the final product before actually posting. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR INPUT. Please send a couple of photos as well.