8TH ANNUAL RIDE-T0-REMEMBER – VIRTUAL RIDE FOR FALLEN HEROES
Dear Ride-to-Remember Riders & Supporters;
The life of a First Responder is both challenging and rewarding. Police Officers, Firefighters, State Troopers, Correction Officers and EMT’s leave their families and go to work every day to protect & serve the community that they live in. Most often it is a very thankless job and the men and women who put on their uniforms proudly do not falter in their mission. When it seems like all the odds are against them and danger is around the corner, this is when they roll up their shirtsleeves and jump into the fray. It happens much too often that some of the brave and dedicated report for duty to start their shift and never come home.
This is why the Ride-to-Remember was started eight years ago. We wanted to make sure that the public which we serve never forget the fallen heroes that patrolled our streets and highways and fought fires to save lives and property were NEVER forgotten. The Ride-to-Remember’s mission has never faltered or wavered. Citizens of this Commonwealth understood that we rode our bicycles across the State in honor of fallen heroes that gave their lives helping them. Our mission of “Fallen But Not Forgotten” has been my main focus for all our riders and volunteers. Now it’s our mission to protect the Ride-to-Remember family. Health considerations involving COVID-19 makes it nearly impossible to deliver the
Ride-to-Remembers extremely high-quality century ride experience that EVERYONE has grown to love. We cannot deliver this experience while guaranteeing the safety of our riders, volunteers and police officers that escort us across the State. The Board of Directors is left with no responsible choice but to reimagine the Ride-to-Remember VIII.
This decision did not come easy and it pains me very much. I have received numerous calls and texts from dozens of riders, all of them stating that this ride means so much to them and their families. All of them were hoping we did not cancel. The Ride-to-Remember represents something that touched everyone that participated in the 106 mile trek to Boston. It is manifest in the months and many miles of training together. People’s lives revolve around the camaraderie of the training rides, the fundraisers and all the events that take place before this amazing ride. The friendships that were built on your Ride-to-Remember connection are life changing. I cannot tell you the rush I feel when I’m miles and miles from home or even in another State and I see riders along the road wearing the Ride-to-Remember jerseys during training rides. This ride has grown immensely due to your constant participation and support.
Right now in 2020, while our nation is in the middle of a pandemic, economic chaos and public servants are taking a negative hit from many, we need the Ride-to-Remember more than ever. Despite the State mandated constraints on our physical gatherings, this September 12th we can still wear our jersey colors proudly in a common cause. Let’s take hold of all of our mental, physical and spiritual energy and convert that into an awesome shared experience.
So welcome to the Ride-to-Remember 2020!
This ride is reimagined for everyone involved so that we can still focus on our mission … Fallen Heroes. The R2R 2020 might possibly be our hardest ride yet because we will have to ride socially distant from the friends we love. We will have to ride separately yet we will remain bonded together in one spirit with our sights on one goal … “Fallen But Not Forgotten”. This phrase is emboldened on our rider jerseys to remind everyone that we are undaunted in our cause.
With that goal in mind we will still be able to contribute to our charities that so many depend on. We are proud to donate to the Fallen Officers Memorial in Massachusetts, Christina’s House in Springfield (shelter for homeless women and their kids) and On-Site Academy in Gardner, MA (they help Massachusetts First Responders with PTSD). We helped build a million dollar Memorial Soccer Field in Springfield to honor Fallen Heroes Alain Beauregard and Michael Schaivina. We contributed to the 911 Memorial in Springfield and the Springfield Firefighters Memorial located at Fire Headquarters in Springfield, MA. We have donated to Bob-the-Bike Guy and “Pedal Through Youth in Springfield. Mr. Bob Charland takes old bikes and turns them into new ones for underprivileged kids in Western MA ,while he himself fights cancer. You have all worked hard and done so much good for so many just by being associated with this ride. I love you and thank you for it. Thank you all for continuing to carry the torch.
Ride-to-Remember VIII – Virtual Ride – Details
On Saturday, September 12th or Sunday September 13th everyone that has signed up for the Ride-to-Remember will ride! You can ride by yourself or in small groups while practicing social distancing. EVERYONE will wear their Official Ride-to-Remember biking shirts or jackets. There is an amazing, new 2020 jersey available at www.vomx.com.
Where do you ride? We are hoping that your destination will be to a Fallen Officer or Firefighter Memorial in your city or town. Plan your route so that you can visit a cemetery where a loved one or fallen hero is buried. We suggest that you can also pay respects to the 911 Memorials in your area. You can go as far as you want to, you do not have to do 106 miles! We would like you to record your experience through cell phone pictures or short videos. At the conclusion of your ride please email all the pics and videos to me at firstname.lastname@example.org where we will make an amazing video to music of all our memories of the day. Remember that you must ride safe, wear a helmet and obey all traffic laws. You are on your own and do not fall under the protective umbrella of the Ride-to-Remember. This “virtual ride” will be yours to cherish knowing that while you are riding, so will hundreds of riders in the Ride-to-Remember family. This concept gives me hope that citizens in this State will realize that First Responders are loving and caring people with families and friends who will never forget their fallen brothers and sisters.
In Addition to the Virtual Ride on the 12th or 13th of September, we will have the Vanished-Valley Brewery Ride to Remember in October
Here is some very good news and something we can all look forward to! Everyone that has signed up for the Ride-to-Remember VIII is invited to take part in this year’s “Vanished Valley Brewery Ride-to-Remember” at no additional cost.. This ride was originally scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2020. This date has been changed to
Saturday, October 24th at 11:00 A.M. This ride will consist of a 25 or 50 mile loop around the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown. Everyone that rides will be required to wear their Ride-to-Remember Official Jerseys. Ride Marshals will be there to assist you and make your ride safe and worry free. Bike Mechanics from Competitive Edge will also be on hand to assist with any small repairs of your bicycle. There will be a huge party, food, entertainment and the best local brewery beer in New England.
We are dedicating this Vanished Valley Brewery Ride-to-Remember to
Chicopee Police Officer Angela Santiago who died recently in an off-duty motorcycle crash in Connecticut. She was loved by everyone and is sorely missed by friends, family and co-workers. Angela was planning on taking part in this year’s Ride-to-Remember. We are also dedicating the ride to Salvatore Persico who was part of our
Ride-to-Remember family and took part in all seven rides. Sal died very recently of a massive heart attack. He was a great man and father to four children. We will be raising money that day for both families affected and feeling their loss immensely. The Vanished Valley Brewery is located at 782 Center Street, Ludlow, MA. All riders that are already registered for the R2R8 are welcome to ride at no additional cost. There will be a ton more information following in the months to come. Please keep checking our Facebook Page or website for additional information. The Board of Directors are looking forward to this ride in Ludlow and we hope that you all take part. This Vanished Valley Brewery – Ride-to-Remember is subject to change with any restrictions that the State might have us follow four months from now … fingers crossed.
Like always, if you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call or text me at 413-265-8255. Please stay safe and healthy in the coming months. We are a very large, very close extended family.
I will leave you with this exciting information …
The Ride-to-Remember IX will take place on
Saturday, October 9, 2021. This ride will be from downtown Springfield to Worcester and back to Springfield where we will celebrate at the best post-ride party we ever had! I know that I cannot wait for that!
With love and gratitude, always;
Ride Director and Founder
1500 Main Street
P.O. Box 15265
Springfield, MA 01115-5265