Our Ride the Rez event is featured in the November 2010 issue of Arizona Highways magazine.
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We did it! $775,000.00
Our final “Ride the Rez” donation total surpassed our goal and shattered all prior Rancho Feliz fundraising efforts. Huge CONGRATULATIONS to each and every one of you. This is a staggering amount of money considering the current economy and the grass-roots, all-volunteer nature of the event.
70 Courageous Rancho Feliz “Guardian Warrior” Volunteers Complete the Historic 2009 “Ride the Rez”
– The BITAHOCHEE 350!
On Friday, October 23rd, 2009, 40 bicyclists (and 30 support personnel) pedaled into Winslow, Arizona and into the history books by completing the first ever 5-day, 350-mile mountain bike ride across the Navajo Nation. Beginning in Mexican Hat, Utah the ride included the following:
Day 1 – Mountain biking across the sand dunes of the original Santa Fe Trail and pedaling the renowned and timeless Monument Valley Loop. The evening included a “Safe Travels – Good Weather” blessing ceremony from a traditional Navajo Medicine Man.
Day 2 – Pedaling 82 miles through ferocious winds around Black Mesa from Kayenta to Chinle. This ride went through the Rough Rock Trading Post and included an Elvis sighting.
Day 3 – Carrying bicycles down the secret Navajo Escape Trail into the very heart of the Navajo Nation – the sacred Canyon del Muerto of Canyon de Chelly – and pedaling the length of the mystical canyon dappled in brilliant fall colors.
Day 4 – Mountain biking 91 miles from Chinle to the historic Hubbell Trading Post to the Greasewood Springs Trading Post and on to the Bitahochee Trading Post. A traditional Navajo meal and sleepover were conducted at the Bitahochee.
Day 5 – Pedaling the infamous “Moonshine Trail” smuggling route and winding through the multi-colored Hidden Painted Desert followed by a fully regaled “Mojo Ride” to the classic La Posada Hotel for an end of the ride “Fandango” dinner party and dance.
Never before attempted on mountain bikes, 11 separate permits and approvals were required to cross the entire Navajo Nation from north to south. The Rancho Feliz “Guardian Warriors” were the first – they made history. A feature length documentary film of the event is now in production.
This historic all volunteer effort required each participant to donate a week out of their busy lives. In addition, each rider had to pay all their own expenses and raise a minimum of $7,500 in donations.
As the final in a long line of Rancho Feliz Extreme Sport/Extreme Karma fundraising events, the “Ride the Rez” has generated over $750,000 in donations to date. In a down economy with no advertising or marketing budget this is truly a testament to the human spirit.
At Rancho Feliz our focus is on EDUCATION. Donations raised from the “Ride the Rez” will help support the following educationally oriented projects:
- Ongoing funding for 60 “Education without Borders” Scholarships
- Establishing a Computer Learning Center in the Pueblo Yaqui Community
- Completion of the Vecinos Dignos Education Center
- Construction of a Dormitory in Obregón, Mexico for Underprivileged Students
- Restoration of the Bitahochee Trading Post into a Cultural Learning Center
- Funds for the “Mexico Mutts” Animal Programs
- Establishing a Tarahumara Infant Mortality Relief Program in Copper Canyon
- Funds for the “Exchange Program” for American Volunteers in Agua Prieta
With your help our “Guardian Warriors” will complete the projects listed above. In this spirit we ask that you make your tax-deductible donation today. Please click here to make a general donation toward the ride (choose Ride the Rez from the drop-down menu). You may also sponsor a child’s education by clicking here.
For additional donation information or help making a donation please contact Kim at 602-538-9192 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Rancho Feliz or on the “Ride the Rez” please contact Rancho Feliz President, Gil Gillenwater, at 602-538-2800 or email@example.com
Click here for a run-down of all our Extreme Sport/Extreme Karma events.