Our favorite motorcycle charity is about to have its biggest event of the year, as Two Wheels for Life will be hosting its Day of Champions event ahead of the British GP at Silverstone in just under two weeks’ time.
Held on the Thursday before racing action begins, the Day of Champions offers a number of fun motorcycle events for the whole family, and it culminates with a live auction that is hosted by Randy Mamola, and offers some very cool MotoGP paraphernalia to bid on.
Other events of note include the opportunity to have access to the MotoGP paddock on Thursday and to meet some GP riders. There is also a ride that participants can join, which includes two laps around the Silverstone track (you can buy tickets here).
Of course, all the money raised goes towards a good cause, as Two Wheels for Life provides funding to programs in Africa that ensure life-saving healthcare gets to rural communities using reliable transport (i.e. motorcycles).
Conventional wisdom says that mixing wine with motorcycles is a bad idea, but in the case of last week’s 4th annual Kurt Caselli Foundation fundraiser at Doffo Winery in Temecula, California, it was a perfect pairing.
Kurt Caselli was an accomplished off-road racer with multiple AMA District 37 championships, Hare and Hound titles, and was the overall class champion in the International Six Day Enduro in 2007 and 2011.
Additionally, he was a competitor in the Dakar Rally and the Baja 1000. The Baja 1000 was where he met his untimely death in 2013, and after his death, the Kurt Caselli Foundation was formed.
The foundation was established to promote safety for off-road riders and racers, and strives to support these riders before, during, and after a racing career.
When you watch the Valencia GP this weekend, keep an eye out for a pair of strikingly red motorcycles on the track, piloted by Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl.
This is because their Aprilia RS-GP race bikes will be sporting a special (RED) livery, supporting the charity that fights acquired immune deficiency syndrome – better known as AIDS.
A disease that once generated massive headlines in the United States in the 1980s, now for many in the western world, AIDS is no longer the specter it once was.
Modern antiviral treatments can reduce the presence of AIDS in affected patients to below detectable levels, thus making AIDS a chronic instead of terminal disease, and which allows patients to lead mostly full and normal lives.
However in other countries, AIDS is still very much a death sentence once it is contracted, with access to life-saving medication incredibly more difficult to acquire, and prevention efforts woefully inadequate.
Over 37 million people worldwide are currently infected with AIDS, with 2 million more contracting the disease with each passing year – many of them in Africa. (RED) aims to change that epidemic, and has contributed $360 million to the stop of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in the region.
Hopefully with the help of Aprilia and the MotoGP Championship this weekend, even more support can be channeled to this worthy cause.
After several weeks of uncertainty, the future for Silverstone’s Day of Champions has been settled.
Questions started when the UK arm of Riders for Health ceased operations, but thankfully a new organization, Two Wheels for Life, has taken over the running of the Riders for Health, and will continue to support their programs aimed at providing primary health care in Africa.
The handover means good news for MotoGP fans as well. The Day of Champions is to go ahead as usual, on the Thursday before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
If you are a regular reader of Asphalt & Rubber, then you surely have seen our banners supporting Riders for Health, one of the great charities to come out of the motorcycle industry.
The non-profit organization, based out of the UK, provides healthcare services to remote locations in Africa, utilizing motorcycles to traverse the uncertain terrain.
Started by Andrea and Barry Coleman, along with Randy Mamola (yes, that Randy Mamola), Riders for Health even had HRH Princess Anne as its patron, with major support from the FIM and the MotoGP Championship as well.
If you attended a MotoGP round in the US or UK, then you may have seen the Riders for Health auctions, or participated in the Day of Stars or Day of Champions events.
Therefore, it is unfortunate for us to report that Riders for Health will be closing its UK offices, effectively ending the charity’s operations.
Thankfully, some of Riders’ operations in a number of African countries will continue on despite this closure, as their operations have already transferred to local actors, governments, or organizations.
Thursdays at MotoGP races usually mean the first chance the media has to talk to riders for the week, both at their debriefs and at the pre-event press conference, but at the British Grand Prix it means something a little bit more special.
Helping raise money for Riders for Health, Silverstone played host to the Day of Champions event, which sees fans able to ride the massive British track, walk the pit lane and see bikes up-close, meet GP stars, and bid on one-of-a-kind GP memorabilia.
All of the money raised from Day of Champions will help Riders for Health ensure health workers in Africa have access to reliable, well maintained motorcycles and ambulances so that they can continue to deliver life-saving health care to 14 million people. The Day of Champions is a great event, and it supports a wonderful charity.
This year accordingly, Riders for Health is proud to announce that the 3,500+ fans in attendance helped raise £193,802 at the Day of Champions event, a figure which the UK government will match. Booyah!
You would have to live a life devoid of social media — raising some interesting issues about how you’re on Asphalt & Rubber in the first place — not to know about the Ice Bucket Challenge videos that occurring to help raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The campaign is pretty straight forward: someone nominates you to dump a bucket of ice water on your head, you post up a video of you accepting the challenge, and then you nominate a three other people to take the challenge themselves within 24hrs — or, you can opt for the drier and warmer alternative, and donate $100 to the ALS Association.
It’s all good clean wholesome fun, and it really doesn’t matter if you cut a check or take a dunk, the ALSA benefits either way from the money and/or increased exposure. A clever pieces of marketing, the Ice Bucket Challenge has reportedly increased donations to the ALSA nearly ten-fold, and it’s not uncommon to see celebrities getting in on the fun, even in the MotoGP paddock.
First up was Jorge Lorenzo unsurprisingly, as the Spaniard has often used his fame to help charities. After taking an ice bath, Lorenzo challenged fellow Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, current MotoGP points-leader Marc Marquez, and recent race-winner Dani Pedrosa, well…the results are after the jump.
Are you getting into Austin early for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas? Maybe you’re already there, sitting on 6th St. sipping down a cool beverage? May we recommend then that you set aside some time on Thursday, and head to the Circuit of the Americas race track for the Day of Stars, a special event put on by Riders for Health.
The official charity of MotoGP, and a cause near and dear to our A&R hearts, Riders for Health puts on two special events, one in the US and one in the UK, which give fans unprecedented access to the grand prix experience.
It goes without saying then that the Day of Stars event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet MotoGP stars, see the paddock and team boxes, and of course to hangout and talk motorcycles with Randy Mamola.
As it currently goes, I merely need to adopt the correct lifestyle aesthetics in the form of bikes and apparel and I can be part of the “club”; the actual identity of what it means to be a “rider” is devoid of the qualities that make us human and participants in society.
There are Harley riders, BMW riders, customs riders, leather-clad sport bike riders, and hipster cafe racers. In each of these demographic fragments, the specifics of what the person is riding matters more than the political, social, and/or economic standpoints of the riders themselves.
This consumerist mentality relegates the means for participation to the choice of how to exercise my purchasing power. Dominant motorcycle culture emphasizes the bike as the expression of the identity of the rider.
An apathetic culture that is centered around fetishization of commodities will reach limits to growth. Sure, motorcycles will get faster, lean better, safer, and smarter than the ones available to us. However, the market is already saturated with choices without enough reasons to pick one choice over the other.
Imagine, however, that being a motorcyclist meant more than just having two wheels spinning between your legs.
The Kurt Caselli Foundation, an organization dedicated to the safety of off-road riders, has announced the release of their official website. The foundation was established in 2013 after the death of Motocross legend Kurt Caselli during the 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
The foundations website states that their goal is to emphasize safety in a three-part mission:
- Before racing, we are committed to encouraging, developing, and standardizing safety precautions that will help minimize risk outside of the rider’s control
- During racing, we are committed to developing, establishing, and encouraging the use of safety equipment and policies to increase the safety of the riders
- After racing, we are committed to providing a safety net that allows and encourages former racers to further their education and reach career goals for themselves and their families
You definitely can’t buy happiness (nor love for that matter, *cue violin and post V-day sadness*), but you can buy a behind-the-scenes pass to the Austin, Texas for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. Riders for Health, the official charity of MotoGP, is bringing its “Day of Stars” event to Austin and giving fans an exclusive view behind the world of MotoGP.
If satisfying your selfish desire to meet MotoGP riders and pit-crews, getting served a catered lunch, and taking your own bike for a spin at the Circuit of the Americas wasn’t existentially appealing to you, you can be rest assured that $375 out of every $500 ticket will go as tax-deductible donation directly to Riders for Health.