WHAT WE DO

The primary purposes of Motorcycle Relief Project are:
  • To honor and encourage military veterans and first responders

  • To provide recreational activities that enable participants to experience some relief from the struggles of life and reintegration

  • To provide a positive environment where participants can connect with peers who’ve had similar experiences

  • To offer useful tools for stress-management and overcoming trauma

  • To help steer participants toward further treatment for their injuries

WES

Specialist | Army Relief Ride #13

August 2017 | Colorado

RICCO

Major | Air Force | Retired | Iraq, Afghanistan Relief Ride #14 | September, 2017 | Colorado

KARLA

Specialist | Army | Afghanistan Relief Ride #15 | September 2017 | Arizona

WHY WE DO THIS WORK

What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.”

 

Veterans and PTSD

  • There are 2.3 million post-9/11 veterans (Iraq and Afghanistan wars)

  • 11 to 20% of post-9/11 veterans have PTSD

  • At a minimum there are 253,000 post-9/11 veterans with PTSD

 

Challenges of Post-War Reintegration for Veterans with PTSD

  • Experience “hyperarousal” and are easily startled or irritated and always on alert for danger

  • Relive the event in nightmares or flashbacks or when something “triggers” a memory

  • Experience loss of meaning and purpose after the military

  • Feel like no one around them can relate to what they’ve been through

  • Become frustrated with overtaxed VA system and give up trying to get help Isolate and withdraw from those who care about them (divorce is common)

  • Struggle with anger and rage Lose hope and become depressed

 

Veterans and Suicide

  • 7% of US population are veterans, yet 22% of suicides in US are veterans

  • 22 veterans commit suicide every day (8,000 every year)

  • More active duty personnel die by own hand than in combat

 

Benefit of Recreation Therapy for Veterans

  • Provides opportunity to break away and climb out of a rut and get out in nature

  • Provides opportunity to bond with other veterans who’ve had similar experiences

  • Can serve as a catalyst for positive life changes

RELIEF RIDES

Relief Rides are 5-day adventure bike tours and are specifically designed to provide relief to veterans with PTSD and other invisible injuries. Tours include a combination of on-road and moderate off-road riding. Participants get to ride on some of the most scenic paved roads in the country as well as some amazing jeep trails and forest roads. Accommodations are in lodges where group members unwind from the day’s journey and participate in workshops and group discussions.

 

Participants learn simple techniques for relaxing and dealing with trauma that can help them better manage their internal stress and move toward recovery. Rides are structured and led by professional staff and veterans. A support vehicle carries participants’ luggage as well as food, tools, etc. Participants in Relief Rides are sponsored by generous donors who are concerned about the toll that serving in combat takes on many of the men and women of our armed forces.

Trips include:
  • Transportation to and from airport

  • Meals and lodging Combination of highway and backcountry riding

  • Use of motorcycle and protective gear (if participant doesn’t have own equipment)

  • Insurance

  • Support vehicle carrying tools, spares, luggage, food, emergency equipment

Helpful workshops on:
  • Relaxation and stress-management techniques

  • Overcoming obstacles and getting unstuck

  • Learning to re-frame the trauma with a new narrative Recovery through serving others

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

2015
  • JANUARY | First meeting of board of directors
  • FEBRUARY | Filed for 501c3 status

  • APRIL | Received 501c3 status

  • AUGUST | Relief Ride #1, Colorado

  • SEPTEMBER | Relief Ride #2, Colorado

2017
  • JANUARY | Feature article in ADVMoto magazine
  • AUGUST | Hosted 100th Veteran to ride with MRP
  • SEPTEMBER | First Allied Forces veteran to ride with MRP
     
2016
  • MARCH | Relief Ride #3, Arizona & Feature article in BMW ON magazine
  • APRIL | Relief Ride #4, California
  • JUNE | Relief Ride #5, Colorado
  • AUGUST | Relief Ride #6, Colorado
  • SEPTEMBER | Relief Ride #7, Colorado
  • OCTOBER | Feature article in Motorcycle Consumer News & First Women’s Ride: Relief Ride #8, Utah
  • NOVEMBER | Relief Ride #9, California
  • DECEMBER | Feature article in Rider magazine & Michelin becomes Official Tire Sponsor

100+

Veterans who’ve gone through the program​

6

Branches represented (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, Australian Army)

16

Bikes in the MRP fleet