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President’s Message May 2017

Well, we are now less than two weeks out – and if you are like me, you are ready to go NOW. We will have to make the best use of our time at this point in making sure that all preparations have been or are scheduled to be completed. My vehicle is due to go into the shop in the next week. I have an appointment with my Dr. to make sure that I am ready (YES! At our age – VN Vets – that is a prudent step to take!) I have been hydrating for the past two months and cannot let up now! And I believe that I have everything that I will need in the way of supplies. I will start laying everything out, checklist in hand. In years past, checklists have been published, but at this point, it becomes pretty much like any other long distance trip. HELMET, Tool Kit, a couple of extra quarts of oil. bungees, “Fix a Flat”, windshield cleaner (if you don’t have a windshield – GET ONE), CASH for fuel stops – and make sure you have a full tank first thing every morning, bungees, cold weather gear, hot weather gear, and RAIN GEAR!. Did I say bring extra bungees? Don’t try to bring everything – we do have chase vehicles to help get us to a shop should we break down, but then again make sure that you have the basics. A roll of good old TP can come in handy after a couple of days of Sloppy Joe sandwiches!

Speaking of chase vehicles – should you need one, don’t just stand there and wave to them as they roll by – They’ll surely wave back, being the friendly people that they are, but they won’t stop unless you make it perfectly clear that you are in need of their assistance. Once they all go by, you are pretty much left to your own devices. And don’t try to wave them down from a rest stop. They may or may not see you – get up on the shoulder of the highway (preferably outside of the yellow line!) and jump up and down like you’re on a pogo stick, waving your arms, or should I say flailing your arms like there is no tomorrow! NOW you have their attention! We mean to leave no-one behind!

I think that I have covered most of the administrative stuff already. All Registration will be at the Host Hotel – The Ontario Radisson. For those who were with us last year, we will be working out of the same rooms. Most, if not all of the meetings will be held at the Host Hotel as well. Leadership meetings will be held on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. FNG meetings are scheduled for Tuesday afternoon as is a Blessing of the Bikes. Vendors and an RFTW Merchandise Trailer will be set up in the front parking lot of the Host Hotel as well. The Tuesday evening event will be a light meal served at the Host Hotel . As we prepare for the dinner we will hav the honor of being serenaded by the 44 piece Marine Corps Band. This promises to be an enjoyable evening. We will be presenting the Combat Heroes Bike Build project to the young Marine for whom it was built. There will be plenty of food and camaraderie. The event starts just after 1700 in the afternoon and will last until 7:00 PM. You must be registered to attend.

Don’t forget the ride to Riverside National Cemetery on Tuesday morning – YOU WILL HAVE TO REGISTERED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS EVENT – NO EXCEPTIONS. The Ride to Riverside National Cemetery will take place on Tuesday morning, May 16th, from the back parking lot of the Radisson. Stage after 0730 on Tuesday, Rider’s meeting at 0830, and KSU at 0900 for the half-hour ride.

A detailed schedule of activities in Ontario is included in the Newsletter and will also be covered under a separate post in the President’s Latest News as well as the Forum. Keep in mind that schedules are subject to change, so check the Host Hotel bulletin board when you arrive in Ontario. Of special note is that the schedule for the morning of the 17th will be strictly followed, at least to the best of our ability. DON”T BE LATE! By 0815 all that will be left in the parking lot are the portable latrines and a very loud echo!

REGISTRATION — Now is a good time to check expiration dates on your Insurance Card, Registration and Driver’s license to be sure that they don’t expire before May 29. If they do renew now so you will have the new ones for registration. Put them in your wallet now. Not a bad idea to photo copy and put copy in your luggage. All adult passengers must have a photo ID to register. Minor children must have both parents written permission to participate in RFTW.

VENDORS – You MUST have a valid Ontario, CA Business License. You will be asked to produce it and will not be allowed to set up if you cannot do so. Also, generators will not be permitted. All vendor coordination is being done as usual, through Carol Olmstead. You MUST see her BEFORE setting up shop. The coordination must be done even if you are an information booth only. SPACE IS VERY LIMITED. Vehicles – NONE – will not be allowed to be part of your set-up – So bring an EZ-Up if you were planning to use an awning pulled out from a motor home. Your motor home will be across the street.

And then the list of reminders:
HYDRATE
RFTW has a “No Pet” policy. NO PETS, PLEASE — SERVICE ANIMALS ONLY!
ALL REGISTRATION will be at the Host Hotel in Ontario, CA. Then at designated areas during The Run, if you are joining us in the middle of the country. See the posted itineraries at: www.rftw.us.

Timing at venues is of prime importance. If anyone is considering inviting speakers, participants, entertainment, etc., that activity must be coordinated through Carol Olmstead or Harry Steelman. Last minute requests in Ontario will not be considered.

Hydrate
Once you get your wrist band WEAR IT AT ALL TIMES!

HELMETS are MANDATORY everywhere on the Run

Motorcycles or any RFTW vehicles are NOT to be left under the breezeway or blocking the drive / entrance at ANY hotel or venue. NO EXCEPTIONS here either. This a safety issue related to emergency entrance and egress. If you leave it there it is subject to being towed. Yes, this does mean YOU! One or two bikes is NOT OK!

Secure your gear

PRACTICE RIDING SKILLS!
RIDE SAFE and HYDRATE

Harry “Attitude” Steelman
RFTW XXVIII BOD

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In two weeks, exactly, Run for the Wall will leave Ontario, California on its annual run, ride, and parade across the USA to Washington, DC. 1,337 people have registered to participate thus far. 522 on Central Route, 298 on Midway Route, and 517 on Southern Route. There’s nothing like riding with 500 or so of your friends, and new friends This is a healing time for some, and ALL ARE WELCOME in The Run for the Wall Family. We ride for those who can’t, and those we’ve lost from all conflicts, and we RUN FOR THEM ALL. In two weeks, one of our Routes may be in a town near you. See www.rftw.us for our schedule, how to get involved, and even join us! If this year does not work, plan for 2018! #runforthewall #runforthewall2017

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