Can-Am and the Road Warrior Foundation (RWF) recently hosted an epic “Adventure Therapy” ride for a group of military Veterans that covered more than 1,000 miles aboard the Can-Am Spyder. Now in its ninth year, this annual Road Warrior Ride gives Veterans the opportunity to disconnect from their day-to-day life and experience the incredible healing power of riding the open road, all completely free of charge.
The Veterans were selected by RWF from a pool of hundreds of applicants, and included representatives of the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps. And as is the focus of every RWF adventure, they were all young – in their 20s and 30s – with various injuries, both physical and mental. Something else they all had in common: a thirst for adventure and a desire to inject some fun in their lives. Riding is a perfect recipe for a group of likeminded strangers with so much in common.
“Can-Am has been the title sponsor of the Road Warrior Foundation since it was established, proudly enabling its mission to provide Adventure Therapy to U.S. Military Veterans,” said Martin Ethier, global marketing director, Can-Am 3-Wheel Vehicles and Motorcycles. “We firmly believe that the open road is open to all, and this sponsorship brings that to life with many incredibly deserving individuals.”
Prior to hitting the road, the group of riders gathered in Orlando, Florida, where they spent time getting to know each other and received a hero’s welcome from more than 250 Can-Am owners at an event put on by the riding group, U.S. Spyder Ryders. Then it was time to ride.
Several of the riders had only recently acquired their motorcycle license, and most had very little experience riding in a group, so prior to the main event, Can-Am and RWF representatives did some closed-course and classroom training on the fleet of vehicles provided by Can-Am. The brand also gave the riders a full suite of riding gear to cover the various climates they’d come across on their way from Florida, up through some of the most iconic roads in North America, ultimately ending up at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Columbus, Ohio.
“The Can-Am Spyder is the only vehicle that will allow us to do what we do because it’s so easy to learn to ride,” said Stephen Berger, co-founder of the RWF and U.S. Air Force Veteran. “BRP provides us a fleet of vehicles that we keep all over the country, so for this ride and other smaller ones we have throughout the year, we’re able to get Veterans of all skill levels out riding fairly quickly by putting them through the Can-Am Rider Education Program. Then it’s just get on and go.”
As always, once the wheels were rolling, the excitement was undeniable from all, and throughout the ride, the Veterans experienced amazing views, great food, visits to local Can-Am dealers, Can-Am Spyder group meet-ups and lasting memories along the way. It was a ride of a lifetime, full of teambuilding and camaraderie that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on all involved.
RWF is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that’s run by Veterans, for Veterans. The organization primarily utilizes powersports as Adventure Therapy to produce a challenging environment that puts wounded Veterans back in the driver’s seat. The Foundation’s experiences range from quick day-trips to multi-day rides like this one, as well as off-road days and snowmobiling excursions. To learn more, visit www.roadwarrior.org.