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Finally, after the involvement of many good hearted souls and corporate partners, Progressive Adventures for the Cures 2011 is about to step off. The opening ceremonies are being hosted at the University of Alaska at Anchorage.
Thanks goes out first to the riders who signed on board this mission. They each committed to raising a minimum of $2000.00 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Global Promise Fund. The riders, here-to-after to be known as the “Dirt Brigade” are members of an all volunteer army of peaceful warriors dedicated to putting breast cancer into the history books.
Next, this mission would not have been possible without the financial support of Progressive Insurance. A W.M.F., Inc corporate sponsor since 2008, Progressive Insurance has shown itself to have an extremely strong corporate conscious. As a result, Progressive Insurance has supported educational, outreach and charitable programs hosted by WMF, Inc. literally all over the country and into Canada.
MotoQuest Tours, parent company of Alaska Riders is commended for providing Adventure for the Cures 2011 with a chase vehicle and the talents of Brenden Anders. Brenden will be with us every step of the way serving a ride guide, mentor, driver of Jethro, mechanic and all around member of our family. MotoQuest also made this venture possible through its major discount on the use of nine of its stable of motorcycles.
Moving on, we are extremely grateful to both Kawasaki and Yamaha for the loan of motorcycles to bring our full compliment of bikes to 18 steeds. Everyone will have her/his own bike to learn on, ride and take care while completely the 2000 miles of mostly dirt roads and trails wending their way through South-Central Alaska, the Yukon and up through the Northwest Territories.
Donating their time and talents are an able staff of truly professional volunteers. Walt Fulton, of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. will serve as the rider’s trainer to ensure we each complete the tour with a far stronger skills base than when we started. Roy and Shirley Anderson, returning staff members from the 2009 Adventure for the Cures ride are back to help with ride guiding and mentoring on the care and feeding our of motorcycles.
Gin Shear and Cindy Fata, both diagnosed with breast cancer after serving as Dirty Dozen Riders on Adventure for the Cures will be with us. Both know that there is not only life after cancer; there is zestful, powerful experiences to be had and they are up for the challenges they will face on this journey.
Finally, Trapper (Marna) Deitch, Pink (Sandralee) Wasous and Walt Fulton contributed tremendously by getting the bikes ready for transport to Alaska from Southern California. Without their help, we would all be riding two-up cutting the trip into two one week sessions rather than all being on the road together.
We hope you will follow our journey as we log in as often as we can to catch you up on our whereabouts and experiences. There’s a lot to be said for, “If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space.”
The Dirt Brigade Adventure for the Cures riders are definitely NOT taking up too much space.
Honoring their pledges, the “Dirty Dozen,” a former street only group of motorcyclists, succeeded in raising over $43,185.25 for research on behalf of the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation www.thegcf.org and the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation www.dslrf.org . Another $3000+ was raised by Canadian Dirty Dozer Rider Neda Skific-Lee on behalf of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. This topped the group’s fund raising goal by over $22,000!
Adding to this success, these women also took on steep learning curves, testing their stamina and their meddle to become competent dual sport riders by negotiating 750 miles of dirt roads and trails throughout the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado over the course of eight riding days.
The “Dirty Dozen,” came together with an all volunteer staff of trainers, guides and Sherpas to collectively become a tight-knit family. Pushing through sand, over-rocks, slogging through mud and water crossings, they climbed along precipitous cliffs to elevations over 12,000 feet discovering the joy of accomplishment along the paths less traveled.
Their trek began at Keystone Resort and Conference Center in the Dillon/Keystone area of Colorado where Coach2Ride (http://www.coach2ride.com/) owners/instructors Andrea Beach and Bonnie Warsch presented the first of their many ongoing rider training sessions. Chris and Erin Ratay, rounded out this day with guidance on the use GPS and Spot Locator units. See: (http://www.ultimatejourney.com/). By day’s end, the culminating activity, the riders first dual sport ride had every member of the “Dirty Dozen” sitting (actually mostly standing) taller on their mounts.
“The energy exhibited as the riders returned to the “stable” was downright palpable!” exclaimed Gin Shear, executive director of the Women’s Motorcyclist Foundation, Inc.; the organization responsible for creating and orchestrating the event. “I knew, from that moment on, these riders were going to have the time of their lives!” added Sue Slate, National Programs Chair for WMF, Inc.
Progressive Insurance, the presenting sponsor for all the Women’s Motorcyclist Foundation programs, assisted not only financially but also by helping to promote WMF’s programs around the country during the ’08-’09 Cycle World International Motorcycle Show series and through print ads in multiple motorcycle publications.
BMW Motorrad USA, Buell Motorcycles USA, Fay Myers (Colorado’s premier multi-brand dealership), Harley-Davidson Motor Company, American Honda Motor Co., Inc, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., and Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, graciously provided the motorcycles