The Motorcycle Relief Project provides therapeutic healing to military veterans and first responders who are suffering from PTSD, depression, and anxiety while at the same time introducing them to the joys of ADV motorcycle riding. Its mission is to honor and encourage those who have served and are struggling and provide them with opportunities to decompress, get unstuck, connect with like-minded peers, and gain new perspectives and skills for dealing with injuries.
Motorcycle Relief Project (MRP), based in Colorado, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that takes selected groups on structured and professionally-led five-day ADV motorcycle adventures called “Relief Rides.” Participants enjoy incredible, scenic riding during the day, followed by evening workshops designed to help individuals identify the issues that are holding them back and provide concepts and tools to get them moving forward again. Most MRP constituents are combat veterans who have experienced mental and moral injuries from events related to their service, but they also help veterans and first responders whose injuries don’t stem from combat.
“Our goal is to reach people who are stuck in a dark place of negative thinking or who have lost the desire and will to continue living, and to provide them with tools and resources to get out of the rut they’re stuck in, get turned in a more positive direction, and find new ways of dealing with their challenges that will allow them to find new peace, happiness, and meaning in their lives,” says Tom Larson, founder and former executive director of Motorcycle Relief Project.
Most participants have never ridden ADV motorcycles before going through the program. MRP has a professional ADV instructor on every Relief Ride who teaches participants how to ride ADV bikes off-pavement safely. Getting off paved roads allows them to experience the excitement, uniqueness, and therapeutic value of exploring forest roads, gravel roads, and jeep trails in the backcountry.
To date, MRP has executed 47 Relief Rides and had 329 participants from 40 states, the UK, and Australia through its program. There is no cost to participants to go through the program, which allows participants to discover the wonders of ADV motorcycling without having to buy a bike or pay a company to rent them a bike and take them on tour.
The Overland Expo Foundation proudly supports the Motorcycle Relief Project and will sponsor two rides in 2022. The first is July 10-16 in Colorado for Veterans, and the second is the Women’s Ride, August 14-20 in Colorado.
I encourage you to get involved and help change lives. Donate—all contributions support the ongoing operations at MRP that make the Relief Rides possible. Apply—If you (or someone you know) would benefit from motorcycle therapy, then apply to go on a ride.