This my last Central Route (CR) newsletter.
It was an honor and privilege to have been chosen as the Route Coordinator for RFTW XXXIII, 2023, and to have led such a fine group of riders across the country to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – “The Wall”.
My sincere thanks to all those volunteers who worked – through a year of planning, and the actual execution of the Run – to make RFTW XXXIII a success. Your commitment to RFTW and its mission; your leadership skills; your concern for the welfare of riders – all contributed to that success.
Thank you also to all new and returning riders. The skills with which you joined RFTW XXXIII contributed to your safe and successful ride. Along with your perseverance in adapting to a new and unique ridership style, you endured extreme weather and road conditions, fought fatigue, and maneuvered through challenges presented by other drivers and riders not associated with RFTW. You also forged new friendships and experienced the welcome and support of veterans from communities across this country. When all is said and done, YOU, contributed heartily to the successful completion of the RFTW mission.
To all riders who completed RFTW XXXIII; what was your motivation for joining RFTW? Some of you are veterans and feel a comradery with fellow veterans, and a link to the RFTW mission. Some are family members of veterans and want to show their support for their veteran and RFTW. And, some riders are devoted veteran supporters. Whatever your motivation for participating, what are your plans for next year and RFTW XXXIV?
Over the years, many riders have returned to the Run, either as a pack rider, or in a former (or new) leadership position. As you probably noted this year in many CR newsletters, leadership positions changes hands between Runs. As a non-FNG, you are eligible to apply for a leadership position. This includes platoon leadership, fuel and staging teams, chase vehicle team and other leadership support positions. So, if you think you might be interested, consider submitting a volunteer request form for next year. SIGN UP HERE!
As a rider, you may be interested in seeing a pictorial history of RFTW XXXIII. The CR Photographer (Alan Steiner) shot thousands of photographs throughout the Run, from Ontario to Washington, D.C. if you are interested in seeing RFTW photos, possibly including yourself, please check out the photo gallery on RFTW website. (https://rftw.us/central-route-hub/central-route-photo-gallery/). Please give our photographer and webmaster time to get the photos posted.
Another important thing to remind you about: AFTER ACTION REPORTS. Please go to the link and fill out the form. This helps us understand what, in the individual’s opinion, worked well and what did not. It also helps us identify potential problems and address them for next year. The RC for next year will receive all of these and make decisions based on input. If you don’t make us aware of issues, we cannot work to correct them. Keep in mind that we do value any and all input, all reports will be read and considered, but not all suggestions will be implemented.
RFTW XXXIII is complete! In the coming months the Board of Directors will confirm a new Route Coordinator (RC) and Assistant Route Coordinator (ARC). And, the planning for the next RFTW will begin again. Naturally, I wish the new RC and ARC the best. As in the past, they will be challenged by lessons learned during the previous Run. You can help them (and the RFTW mission) by returning to RFTW XXXIV as a volunteer, and leader.
We ride for those who can’t.
Paul “Brush” Marshall
CR RC RFTW XXXIII