For the second year in a row, WTB has partnered with the Semper Fi Fund to facilitate a four-day mountain bike skills camp aimed at supporting fifteen service members on their roads to recovery. The Semper Fi Fund is a nonprofit organization with a mission of providing financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured service members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Within the Semper Fi Fund, the Team Semper Fi sports program personifies the motto “Recovery Through Sport” by using sport to overcome the physical and invisible challenges its service members fight every day. WTB strongly supports the continual work of the Semper Fi Fund and is grateful of the opportunity to use mountain bikes, as well as the community they have created, to aid the service members of Team Semper Fi.
“This was the second year of the event and therefore the relationships have grown and it has shown what we can give back to those who have done so much for us. We can never give back what they have lost in war but what we can give back is the vision of freedom they all fought so hard to preserve.” – Mark Weir, Godfather of American Enduro.
Last year, the mountain bike skills camp was held at a privately owned ranch in Novato, California, which provided an exclusive environment that allowed service members to focus on the experience without outside distractions. This year, the Sanchez Family of Grass Valley, California hosted the event on their private ranch following the annual TDS Enduro race they organize every year. Two of the most experienced Team Semper Fi riders, Ryan Beamish and Arthur Sykes, raced in the TDS Enduro this year against some of the fastest racers in the nation. The rest of the service members were present on the sidelines to cheer on (along with a fair amount of heckling) Beamish and Sykes during their race runs.
“Three years ago, when I first approached my friend Mark Weir about this idea, I couldn’t have imagined the success and immediate impact we would accomplish in such a short period of time. The mountain bike community is such a compassionate family and the idea was to surround our Team Semper Fi members in mountain bike life, ride some of the most incredible trails they would normally not have access to, and receive one-on-one instruction with some of the best riders in the world! This community came together and WTB, Cannondale, Polaris, Kali Protective, Camelbak and others have been incredibly generous with their time and support.” – Sam Tickle, Associate Director of Team Semper Fi.