GREENVILLE, S.C., Dec. 8, 2016— Michelin North America’s motorcycle tire division is proud to be a sponsor of Motorcycle Relief Project (MRP), a 501c3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other invisible injuries by taking them on multi-day adventure motorcycle “Relief Rides.”
The Motorcycle Relief Project began in 2015 as a means of providing recreational therapy to military men and women to help them decompress, connect with fellow veterans, and learn valuable coping skills for dealing with their injuries. Participants ride dual-sport adventure bikes both on-road and off-road during the day, and at night they engage in workshops on topics including stress management, overcoming obstacles and the importance of serving others as a part of one’s own recovery.
Michelin, a long-time employer and supporter of America’s veterans, has provided the organization with tires to outfit their entire fleet of motorcycles. The specially designed adventure touring bikes used in the rides are fitted with MICHELIN® Anakee Wild tires, which offer excellent on- and off-road performance for extreme adventure touring enthusiasts.
“Motorcycle Relief Project is excited to be partnering with Michelin to use motorcycle therapy to bring relief to veterans who’ve served our country,” says MRP founder Tom Larson. “Getting veterans out in nature on dual-sport bikes is a wonderful way to help them clear their heads and turn off the noise for a while.
“I was already running Michelin Anakee Wilds on my personal bike even before our partnership with Michelin,” Larson says. “I love the way they handle, especially in the dirt. For our needs they’re the ideal combination of long tread life and true 50/50 on-road and off-road capability. They’re the perfect tire for riders who are new to adventure bikes and want to feel confident riding big bikes both on the street and in the dirt.”
MRP has conducted a total of nine Relief Rides to date and has had 76 veterans go through its program. Veterans have credited the program with helping them climb out of a prolonged depression, kick addictions to prescription narcotics, find new battle buddies, and even give them new will to live. Participants include veterans and active duty members of all branches of the U.S. military. The organization has executed rides in Colorado, Arizona and California, and conducted its first ride with female veterans in October 2016 in Utah. Rides are staffed in large part by veteran volunteers who first went through the program as participants and want to come back for more.
In 2017, the organization plans to host eight Relief Rides between February and November, doing a ride each month except July. Veterans who are interested in participating and donors who are interested in supporting the organization can learn more at www.motorelief.org.