Hello, and thank you for reading the final installment of the Ride Out of the Darkness column!
On October 19 I arrived at Maverick Harley-Davidson in Dallas, Texas, to scout out the location for the third annual 22Kill and meet the awesome staff. This also presented an opportunity to talk with Carl “Lugnutz Guapo” Luepnitz III and sit down to record a podcast for the Maverick Harley-Davidson website. You can check it out over on their site at MaverickHD.com. After recording the podcast and warming up a bit, I headed over to the Old Towne Brewhouse for the meet and greet along with some more raffles.
Now, if you don’t know, 22Kill is one of largest 501(c)(3) groups out there with the goal of reducing the veteran suicide rate down to zero. They do so with the motto of “One Tribe, One Fight.” You can tell that this group of stellar Marines indeed sticks together and that they put their hearts into everything that they do. They promote awareness of the mental health and suicide issues in all that they do. Their website states, “The 22Kill Tribe allows service members to connect with like-minded individuals and gives them an opportunity to get involved with community events and projects, and be part of something great.”
I encourage you all to check out 22Kill.com to find out how to support them, volunteer with them, and to learn more.
On the 20th of October I arrived back at Maverick Harley-Davidson and staged my bike at the Law Tigers booth where I met up with Thomas Quiones, the Dallas Law Tigers representative, yet another great person and vet that Law Tigers has.
This was the third annual 22Kill ride with 625 bikes registered, over 500 bikes that rode, and over $31,000 dollars netted to benefit 22Kill’s programs, all impressive numbers, especially with the recent flooding that had impacted Central Texas in the previous week. The 4th annual ride has already been scheduled for October 19, 2019, as well. So, if you can make it, please do!
Now, as for the rest of the month, it too was amazing. On the 20th of October, Trinity’s odometer passed over 100,000 miles and on the 24th at 7:51 a.m. in Ottawa, Kansas, her odometer rolled over 101,054 miles marking 100,000 miles for the year, and I arrived at home to be with my girls for a few days on the 25th.
If all has gone as planned then I should have hit the 105,100 mile “finish line” on November 5 as I rode home for the final time from Victoria, Texas.
While the mile markers are obviously huge accomplishments, they are in some aspects irrelevant. What matters is the fact that people have become more aware about our great nation’s suicide problem.
The miles may be over, but the journey still continues. Upon my return I will start planning the inaugural San Diego County Ride to Fight Suicide with a tentative date of April 13, 2019, I will be launching another project that will go live on social media at the end of the year, and I will be returning to the workforce full time as well.
Most important to me, I will be catching up with my friends and family of time missed with them.
I am thankful for all of my sponsors’ help, encouragement, and support on this journey.
First off, I would like to thank each and every one of them:
• Biggs Harley-Davidson for giving me an amazing price on Trinity along with the best price on installed tires
• Custom Dynamics for hooking me up with a full array of LED lights to keep me safe and providing superb visibility at night
• Cruz Armor for keeping Trinity’s paint and forward-facing surfaces looking almost brand new
• Leslie Kay’s insurance for taking care of me in more ways than just insurance
• Law Tigers and Law Tigers California for making sure that should something happen, they have my back
And last, but not least:
• THUNDER PRESS and its amazing staff for allowing me another way of helping to bring awareness to our nation’s suicide problem.
I would be insane to not thank Harley-Davidson for designing and building a fine machine that was able to endure this kind of punishment and look gracious while doing it.
Additionally, there have been some companies that came in to help in other ways such as Bassani Xhaust, Memphis Shades, and Crampbuster throttle assist.
The companies and multiple dealerships that helped on the way made the journey far more manageable on a day-to-day basis, but it has been the people that have made the journey the most memorable. If I could thank each and every person by name, I indeed would. Unfortunately, I cannot.
So, to each and every one of you that has read about this journey, donated to the cause, purchased merchandise to help with maintaining Trinity, and followed along on social media, thank you! Your support of one kind or another has made this journey one that will indeed last the rest of my life.
To those of you that have messaged me, e-mailed me, or told me in person that this journey has helped you one way or another, you truly have inspired me to continue doing whatever I can to help stop another suicide from happening. Your words have indeed become more fuel for me.
I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.
Until next time, ride safe!