As you know registration began for all routes on September 11, 2022. The response has been incredible. As of the first of October, nearly 250 patriots have registered for the RFTW XXXIII, and it’s more than eight months before kick-stands-up in Ontario. If you have not already done so, please register as soon as you can, and invite your friends and fellow patriots to register as well. The sooner you register, the sooner RFTW (and Central Route) planners will be able to accurately assess (and arrange for) the needs of the Run all across the country.
As you plan to participate in RFTW XXXIII, keep in mind that we ride in formation. Central Route (CR) platoons are made up of side-by-side and staggered riders. Experience has shown us that many first-time riders initially request to ride in a staggered platoon, but that after day three or four, after building confidence in themselves, many riders ask to ride side-by-side. Unfortunately, you are not currently able to make your preference known during online registration. Based on previous Runs, CR leadership will do its best to make initial platoon decisions – how many of each are available. And, at check-in in Ontario, CA, the folks on the Registration Team will do their best to accommodate your riding preference.
Now, back to our RFTW planners – who exactly are they? Well, just about everyone holding a leadership position is involved in the planning process, and that is a whole lot of people. There is so much to say about these “volunteer planners” that it’s just not possible to describe all their efforts in a single (or probably several) monthly newsletter. It is important for all RFTW participants to understand the tremendous efforts that go into making the Run a huge success year after year.
State Coordinators: This month, I want to introduce you to a group of planners – the State Coordinators – who work literally all year round to make this Run happen. State Coordinators have cultivated supporters and donors in each of the states through which we ride on our way to Washington, D.C. And, with the help of these supporters and donors, State Coordinators arrange for virtually all the needs of RFTW participants, including hotel lodging, community-provided meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), donations to assist with many fuel stops, community events, and visitations to VA hospitals and veteran memorials.
So, take a look at the CR website – you’ll find a listing of State Coordinators there. You will also find our State Coordinators listed daily in the CR itinerary. And, as we make our way across this great country, remember to seek out and thank our State Coordinators. In many cases, you can recognize the State Coordinator by their brown hats. But that’s not always the case as many State Coordinators also serve in other (sometimes multiple) leadership positions such as platoon leadership, road guards, and even the RFTW Board of Directors (BOD). When we make stops in each state, if you cannot quickly identify your State Coordinator, ask a member of your platoon leadership, the Assistant Route Coordinator, or me – one of us will point out that state’s coordinator. You may also find the state’s coordinator riding at the front of the pack with me.
Volunteer Positions: Following the announcement of open volunteer positions in last month’s newsletter, we have received several volunteer request forms. As mentioned in that newsletter, while platoon leaderships positions were filled, other team positions remained open. We have received several requests for positions on the fuel and staging teams, which have been forwarded to the team leaders. Also, keep in mind that some volunteer positions do not require that you ride a motorcycle (e.g., the registration team). Keep the volunteer request forms coming.
Itinerary Change: Development of the CR itinerary for RFTW XXXIII is ongoing in October, with preliminary planning meetings to review, confirm and modify current route plans as necessary. At this point, CR does not anticipate many changes from the previous itinerary (for RFTW XXXII) – CR will still depart Ontario, CA on Wednesday, 17 May 2023. That said, a major change has occurred with one of the other routes leaving Ontario, CA in 2023. The BOD has decided to permit the Midway Route (MR) to add an additional day to its Run, making the MR an 11-day journey across the US to Washington, D.C. To accommodate this additional day, all RFTW participants in Ontario on Tuesday morning, 16 May 2023 will be required to attend the MR send-off that morning. For those who have not witnessed a RFTW departure from Ontario, CA, you will find the event quite moving, as well as an exciting preview of what you can expect the next day when the central and southern routes depart Ontario.
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