Cross-Country Motorcycle Journey Enters Its 21st Year
Twenty one years ago, NASCAR driver Kyle Petty combined his passion for helping others with his love of motorcycles to create the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. One of the most successful and popular charity events in the country, the annual motorcycle trek engages celebrities, Ride sponsors, motorcycle enthusiasts, fans and local communities to raise funds and awareness for Victory Junction. Since 1995, more than 7,500 riders have logged 11.1 million cumulative motorcycle miles and raised $16 million for Victory Junction and other children’s charities.
The inspiration for the Ride came in 1994, when Petty and three friends rode their motorcycles from North Carolina to a NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway. Friends joined the ride along the way, and by the time the group reached Phoenix, it had grown to 30 riders. The turnout inspired Petty, and he decided to nurture the event into something bigger; The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America was born.
This year, Kyle Petty will lead approximately 200 riders on a route drafted by the Ride’s co-founder and 20-year participant, the late Don Tilley*. The Ride will travel from Santa Cruz, Calif. to Branson, Mo., May 2-8.
As a result of the Ride, more than 7,815 children
have attended Victory Junction at no cost!
Fans and spectators along the Charity Ride route may contribute to the Charity Ride’s “Small Change. Big Impact.” program, which accepts donations at local stops.
The 2015 Kyle Petty Charity Ride Schedule:
- Day 1, Saturday, May 2 – Santa Cruz, CA to Bakersfield, CA
- Day 2, Sunday, May 3 – Bakersfield, CA to Tonopah, NV
- Day 3, Monday, May 4 – Tonopah, NV. to Bryce Canyon, UT
- Day 4, Tuesday, May 5 – Bryce Canyon, UT to Moab, UT
- Day 5, Wednesday, May 6 – Moab, UT to Colorado Springs, CO
- Day 6, Thursday, May 7 – Colorado Springs, CO to Hutchinson, KS
- Day 7, Friday, May 8 – Hutchinson, KS to Branson, MO
Since its inception by the Petty family in 2004 in honor of Kyle’s late son Adam, Victory Junction has served as the Ride’s primary beneficiary. Located on 84 acres in Randleman, N.C., Victory Junction exists to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses by creating camping experiences that are memorable, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound.
This year, many celebrities plan to participate in all or part of the 21st Anniversary Ride, including: NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven time champion Richard Petty; NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth; NASCAR legends Harry Gant and Donnie Allison; former NFL great Herschel Walker; Harley-Davidson, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich; NBC Sports NASCAR analyst Rick Allen; co-host of History Channel’s Top Gear America and NASCAR personality Rutledge Wood.
“When Kyle started this Ride 21 years ago, I don’t think any of us realized just how special it would become,” said Kyle’s father Richard Petty. “Riding across our beautiful country on two wheels with great friends and family is incredible, but knowing you’re doing it to help others makes it the ride of a lifetime.”
“Oma Loves U!” has teamed up with the “Kyle Petty Charity Ride” to conduct a giveaway for her blog readers. One lucky fan will win an Official Event Shirt And Hat From The 2015 Ride autographed by Kyle Petty! (ARV $35.00)
Just use the easy Rafflecopter form below to enter.
The route was co-drafted by the late Don Tilley. Tilley was a legend in racing and Harley-Davidson circles. He helped launch the charity ride in 1995 and led all twenty of Kyle Petty’s “Charity Ride Across America” treks. Tilley died as he lived for most of his 78 years; while riding his Harley.
“Don taught me how to ride long distance, love Harleys & most importantly how to be a friend,” NASCAR driver Petty tweeted in August of 2014.