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Central Route Coordinator Newsletter December 2022

Paul Marshall

Happy Holidays! Like our Thanksgiving celebrations last month, December is the time to gather with family and friends, to reflect on our lives and blessings, and to prepare for a new year of opportunities and hope.

Registration:  As of 1 December, 528 patriots have registered for RFTW XXXIII. The cost of registration will increase on 1 February 2023. So be sure to register for the Run as soon as possible and save yourself some money.RFTW Route Fees 2023

When you do register, you’ll be asked to select the route you want to join. As you make your route selection, keep in mind RFTW recently added a fourth route, the Sandbox Route. This route is dedicated to veterans of gulf conflicts, and is in keeping with the RFTW mission. Sandbox riders will depart Washington D.C. on the Sunday following the arrival of all three routes from California, and will ride to the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial in Marseilles, Illinois. If you are a veteran of gulf conflicts, a friend or family member of these veterans, or a supporter of these veterans, you need to experience this ride. It is important to note, however, the number Sandbox participants is extremely limited. You can register for the Sandbox Route alone, or add it onto the end of one of the CA to DC routes, but you must register soon.


In January 2023, you will be able to make hotel reservations across the country. State coordinators are working hard to finalize the list of hotels and camping locations available to riders. Their work will be completed by 15 December, and the final list of hotels and camping locations will be published on the RFTW website at midnight, 1 January 2023.

Prepare:  With the December holidays upon us, we all know that time will be limited, and mostly devoted to family. Still, it’s important that we find some time to begin preparing ourselves, and our motorcycles. That may seem an obvious next step, but it’s worth repeating. And, given the no-show rate for RFTW XXXII (about 40%), we thought it wise to discuss the probable reason for some of the no-shows, and review many important preparations that have proven effective in past Runs.
We know that COVID had a dramatic effect on RFTW. Cities, counties and states shut everything down, blocked community gatherings, and essentially made it impossible for RFTW to execute its mission. The RFTW Board of Directors (BOD) was forced to cancel the Run for 2020 and 2021. We believe these cancellations, and the possibility of a third year, may have caused some would-be participants to withdraw from the Run.
All that said, if you have been waiting for the right time to go on this Run, that time is now, and now is the time to begin your preparations. COVID is gone, and the restrictions on travel and gatherings were actually lifted before RFTW XXXII. Prospective riders can once again feel confident that RFTW XXXIII will continue the mission, and can now focus on preparations. How?

Your motorcycle – Ride it! Go on 100+ mile rides; gradually increase your distances. Plan overnight rides of two or more days, keeping up the miles each day. Pay attention to your bike’s performance. And, take your bike in for service and a safety check before you begin your journey to Ontario, CA, and then on to Washington D.C.

Equipment and clothing – bring the right kind, and the right amount. Check out the RFTW website for the recommended equipment list. If you know someone that has participated in RFTW, ask them about the clothing and equipment they brought. My recommendation – pack light. In selecting clothing for the Run, consider commemorating your ride, and supporting RFTW at the same time, by taking a look at the RFTW Store for T-shirts, hats, patches and many other items.

Click Here to go to the Store!

Personal – begin at least a moderate physical fitness regime. Riding your bike will help. Bring your prescribed and allergy medicines, vitamins and a first aid kit.  Having done your best to plan and prepare for the Run, rest assured that your CR leadership team will do what it can to support all riders on their journey across this country. Typical rider support includes:

Chase vehicles (Team Leader – Tommy “Two Chains” Cranford):  This a group of volunteers with their own vehicles and trailers. These team members pick up disabled motorcycles and/or riders who are unable to continue riding due to illness or some other condition. Keep in mind team drivers sometimes are unavailable because they are picking up motorcycles and delivering them to a repair shop. To avoid the possibility of long waits along the road, ensure you have a provision for roadside assistance in your motorcycle insurance.

Hydration team (Team Lead – Nathan “Big Foot” Masten):  This team consists of several volunteers who, with their own vehicles and trailers, travel with the pack across country, picking up supplies and providing refreshments (drinks and snacks) to all riders at stops along the route.

Medical team (Team Lead – Wade “Big Country” Wills): This team consists of several trained medics, even a doctor, offer health guidance and/or first aid to riders.

Volunteer Positions:  Thanks to all those who have volunteered to help the Central Route. We’re still inviting volunteers to help with the Staging and Fuel Teams. Keep the request forms coming.

Volunteer HERE!

Just like your Central Route (CR) leadership team, we realize you all have a lot of planning to do in preparation for the Run. Despite moving into the Christmas season, CR planning is actually accelerating. We are reviewing plans in some detail, and soon, we will finalize our hotel and camping list, and riders can begin making reservations. We are eager for RFTW XXXIII to begin, and we look forward to meeting you all in Ontario. Keep up the good work, and stay healthy.


Paul “Brush” Marshall

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