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Vista Motorcycle Event 2nd Annual Freedom to Ride Revs Up Support for Vets on July 4th
Vista Motorcycle, in association with American Legion Post 365, held their 2nd Annual "Freedom to Ride" 2013 Motorcycle Event on July 4, 2013. This event drew more than double in attendance and outreach to the vets from the year before.
The reason for this Annual Freedom to Ride Event is to honor of all the US Veterans who served their country but are currently unable to enjoy the national holiday in public. Therefore, the motorcycle riders from the local Vista American Legion posts and other riding clubs came together to dedicate their morning to ride to San Diego Military Hospitals and Veterans Homes.
Vista Motorcycle, which has been a mainstay in the local community since 1979 recently underwent a change of management and ownership. The foundation of this company was to always take care of riders and their bikes. The new owners were long time clients of the repair shop and in the past year have done many things to help create an awareness that this company cares about riders on and off the road. Events such as this are one way they are successfully doing so.
Family centric and community oriented, the shop has created new community outreach events to those who also take care of our local area. The Freedom to Ride event is one of those. The American Legion Post 365 is a neighbor to Vista Motorcycle. The mutual core values of these entities align in a way that has created some fun, much needed and heart serving events.
This second joint effort event attracted 79 participants. There were 42 bikes total. Riders of all styles of bikes were invited. Military and civilians were able to participate in the ride. This year’s draw brought a huge mix of riders. Those who dedicated their morning to supporting this event were all ages and rode bikes of a variety of styles. (There were even a couple of dogs that rode with their owners on the ride. Some of the participants followed in their cars, trucks or vans carrying down supplies to the Vets.
One of the participants, Dennis Montgomery, who has a long history in the motorcycle industry, is part of the Downtown Vista Business Association and is the creator of the Vista Blazin Bike show shared “Thank you for the invitation as a guest speaker and supporter to this very important "Freedom Ride" on our Country's most celebrated day, July 4th. I witnessed and talked to nearly 100 supporters and Veterans from as far as Las Vegas recognizing the sacrifice they gave for our Freedom.”
He continues “The Motorcycles packed the parking lot and had to be split in two riding groups that paraded on this ceremonial occasion as they headed to the VA Hospital and homes to honor our local heroes. I would be honored to recognize you all at my 2nd annual "Blazin Bike" Motorcycle Show on Saturday August 03, 2013 here in Historic Downtown Vista. Thank you, and God Bless”
Recent Commander of the American Legion Post 365,Chris Yates ,shared with Debbra Sweet, one of the owners of the shop, "Some of this years riders who participated for the first time, were so moved by their time with the Veterans and injured military, that they personally want to return to the hospitals and homes to serve those who served us. This is awesome! Thank you for organizing this ride and asking the Legion to be involved. We look forward to seeing this annual event grow."
He went on to say: "Initially this event allowed us to visit just one Veterans Hospital. This year we were able to add the Veterans Home in Chula Vista to the Route. Those soliders, who are there to essentially finish out their lives, were so moved by the giving of our 4th of July morning, to ride almost an hour down to see them. Too often, these men and women, who did amazing things to serve and protect our country, are long forgotten about. To see their eyes light up and their spirits lift because we took the time to be with them- was worth every moment."
Each year the event coordinators are raising the bar. The vision of this annual event is to be able to have hundreds of riders visit as many military hospitals and veterans homes on the morning of July 4th. A few small hours of acknowledgement and sacrifice of time pales in comparison to the years and hours served with dedication these milatary have given to our country.
Creating awareness of how the American Legion supports local families, military and former military is just one of the side benefits of the mutual event. Where this event really shines through is being a way to bring locals who care and live with a life with a heart of service together. Regardless of all walks of life thee riders are able to bond together in a new way to celebrate those who gave of their time in service to ensure we still have Freedoms.
For further information on this event or to participate in upcoming ones organized by Vista Motorcycle visit: