Good Morning to All the RFTW Family from Tennessee!
There is a lot of news, and I would like to highlight upcoming changes for everyone! Time is flying September is here and the XXXIII ride for 2023 is fast approaching. I look forward to seeing each of you in 2023.
RFTW will participate in the Key Ceremony for Marine Cpl Yevgeniy “Yev” Shenker when ‘Homes For Our Troops’ presents him with the keys to his new home. The event date is Saturday, September 24. Our POC is Michael “Chatters” Giannetta (phone # 520-254-2322 and email Chatters.firstname.lastname@example.org). Contact Chatters if you plan to come-out and join the RFTW Family as part of this great event. RFTW is responsible to provide the escort of Marine Cpl Yevgeniy “Yev” Shenker to his new home for the “Key Ceremony”.
I would like to thank each of you that took your valuable time to provide a response to the recent Rider Survey. As you can see, we had a great distribution of responses from riders across all the routes. You are overwhelming!!! Your answers are summarized below.
- Start early (Tuesday) allowing an 11th Day as a slowdown day for outreaches, laundry and safety, at a mid-route location (TBD)?
Yes 429 No 227
- Prefer an on-line (Free) or printed version (Cost) of the route itinerary booklet?
Online 418 Printed 238
- Would you like to have one available for PURCHASE at your route’s merchandise trailer?
Yes 478 No 178
- Question 4 through 8 and 11 provides demographic info and communication methods and merchandise for us at the BoD.
- What Route do you intend to ride in 2023?
|Central Route Only||182|
|Midway Route Only||136|
|Southern Route Only||136|
|Sandbox Route Only||27|
|Central + Sandbox Route||58|
|Midway + Sandbox Route||49|
|Southern + Sandbox Route||68|
|Sand Box Route Combined||202|
The three winners of the $50 digital coupon to use on the RFTW Online Merchandise Shop are:
- Dave Perry
- Blaze Medcraft
- Joffrey Mason
The winners will be emailed their digital coupon code by the Director of Public Relations & Communication.
Thank you again to everyone who participated.
So what does all this mean? Midway Route wants to be and will be the Test/Recon route for the ‘Slow-Down-Day’ concept by leaving on Tuesday morning this year rather than at the usual all routes departure on Wednesday morning. Most likely, the “ALL HANDS MEETING” will be Tuesday morning and also function as the send-off for Midway Route (See your Route Itinerary for schedule). Additionally, this Slow-Down-Day concept will allow the Route to offer two things; mission expansion in the community of their choosing and the riders several new opportunities. These opportunities include the capability to leisurely ride and visit during organized outreach missions within the selected Slow-Down-Day community to visit local Veterans Memorials, Veteran Cemeteries, or VA Facilities. This allows 100% of riders, to include; the Staging, Fueling, Advanced Teams, Trikes and bikes with trailers that may unhook for the day, to have the opportunity to participate in an outreach and experience it’s healing value. It is a planned day focused on the “mission through the use of an expanded community outreach program” while allowing the intensity of the daily route ride to ease up slightly. More details will follow as they develop, through Midway Route SITREPs and RC news letters. If you choose to ride Midway Route as the test route, you can expect to be sent a survey after the 2023 ride to gather your opinion regarding the Slow-Down-Day concept and its execution this year. A few of the sample questions you might see are: Was it interruptive for your intensity and focus of the ride? Was this an effective tool for ‘Mission Expansion’? Did it add value to the total ride? Would you ride a route with a planned Slow-Down-Day again? Would you like this Slow-Down-Day available again in 2024? Remember, planning for the next year’s ride begins the day after a year’s ride is over and all AARs are important. We will be listening and your feedback is important!
We must move further into the 21st century by more efficiently and effectively using the RFTW website tools. All riders should review the newly published RFTW Rider Guidelines: Safety, Standard of Conduct, Fueling, and Statement of Responsibility found under the website TAB, ‘RUN DETAILS > Rider Guidelines‘, these guidelines apply to all 4 routes. The Host Hotel List, will be published on the website on 1 January, 2023. A draft version of each Route’s Itinerary Book will be available for you to review on the website shortly after the 1st of the year, 2023. The final version of each Route’s Itinerary Booklet will be published on the website NLT, 15 APR 2023 and will be available for you to print before coming to CA. A limited number of the printed Route Itinerary Books will be available for purchase in each Route’s Merchandise Trailer for the actual cost of the printing as published on the website.
We continue to experience increased costs to meet the expectations of the RFTW Family. Insurance, printing, room cost, contracting and local support difficulties continue to rear their ugly heads as daily challenges for your Leadership Teams and BoD. Additionally, a significant contributing factor, is that the registration fee has not been raised to keep pace with these cost increases over the past number of years. Understanding, these are the same cost challenges you individually experience to participate. Therefore, in an effort to help better predict and plan for these cost challenges, we are developing a tiered registration fee structure (more to come) to provide a cost benefit for riders who early-register.
‘Registration’ on the RFTW website (RFTW.US) will open 11 SEP 2022 for the XXXIII, 2023 Run. Check out the new ‘How to Register’ section added to RFTW website if you have any difficulties or questions. Register early!
Finally, as to Ontario, CA as the departure point for the 2023 ride, that is still undecided. Insurance increased coverage demands, are continuing to drive this discussion and decision. This is the same issue we faced last year and it was resolved. However, we are preparing to relocate within the general area of Ontario if necessary. A decision will be reached as to the exact departure and assembly location, by October BoD meeting. So the rumors can be eliminated, we will definitely not be using the same host hotel in Ontario.
I would hope that each of you are practicing and preparing for 2023 now! As you can tell, the BoD and Route RCs are working closely together to make 2023 ride a success! I would encourage each of you as you prepare, to focus on your skills to arrive in CA, ride the Ride, and return home safely. It is up to you to ride within your capabilities and competency. Let’s make 2023 our safest year, no accidents or incidents should be our ‘Motto’.
In closing, this letter I have provided a lot of information and expected changes for 2023. I am hopeful, that as we adapt to these changes and move forward into the future together, RFTW will continue to evolve and improve. I especially look forward to meeting and talking with as many of you as possible. Have a Great Day. God Bless you and your family. Always ride safe till then!
Is it May yet?
Ron ‘Sky’ King
President, RFTW Board of Directors