It is already a week since The Rolling Barrage would ride to the last stop for The Rolling Barrage VII 2023. Since that time, the final closing event, the west coast tire dip and the departure of riders and support volunteers have started for some extended journeys to see local family and friends, onto other adventures, or as some still are, returning home. For many, it is also a time to reflect.
I have spent time on returning home watching, reading, posts on Facebook, email and messaging with members of the Board of Directors, volunteers, supporters and riders as the ride progressed across the country and seeing the hard work of many volunteers within the organization, supporters and the ridership elevate The Rolling Barrage to the next level.
I have spent the greater part of my return home and even today in fact responding to people wanting to support and help The Rolling Barrage in the future. But one message to me was rather important from an evacuee from the wildfires in British Columbia, who took the time to write to us.
The person was evacuated, injured, in need of help and riders from The Rolling Barrage helped that person to the room at the hotel, tended to injuries and spent time just talking things through.
That really speaks to what The Rolling Barrage is, a support entity both internally and externally.
There are many positive stories and accomplishments that this year’s ride has achieved that need to be told in some manner, and they will. The Rolling Barrage VII 2023 is over, which really means The Rolling Barrage VIII 2024 has begun.
In the coming days, weeks, months, we will work hard to continue the dialogue on The Rolling Barrage VII 2023 with stories, pictures and how this year’s ride has made an impact on people and the communities we engaged in. We will also couple this with website updates and timely information as the planning for The Rolling Barrage VIII 2024 develops.
I have been asked this question. I don’t know how many times. “How many riders?” In total Online Registrations were 398 riders with a mix of passengers. We also had some walk up, paper-based registrations, so we exceeded 400 registrations across the country. On average, each day, the ride numbered in between 65-100 plus riders.
We had over 50 registrants wanting to commit to The Full Pull but with a ride such as The Rolling Barrage, life, circumstances we understand can prevent it. In the end, 43 riders earned The Rolling Barrage 2023 – Full Pull patch. Congratulations to all.
Also important, congratulations to all riders, whether you came out for a few hours, a day, a few days or as long as you could. All riders in The Rolling Barrage are vital. You comprise the bulk of the overall ridership and your contributions to the ride without question are very crucial and needed in order for this ride to continue to evolve and be a success on many fronts. As much as we want The Full Pull crew to expand in the future, it is also important for the ride as a whole to have a greater outreach.
To close out this post. More posts to come. Our mission does not end at a final year’s ride tire dip. The community we have to continually reach out to and help is massive. More than ever, collectively, we have to continue raising the level of awareness of PTSD and mental health. Those challenges within the veteran, active duty, military and first responder communities are not going away anytime soon. They are amplified more than ever. Our work is far from done. It really continues until it is kickstands up in 2024 and progresses from there.
With that, we all have to continue to be “Not Silent.”
Thank you all sincerely,
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Executive, Provincial Leads, Volunteers and Supporters,
Christian aka Opie