I am excited for our 2nd Annual M2M, 7-10 Sep 2023. I look forward to seeing many of you again and welcoming new M2M riders and supporters.
Thank you to the many who have been working to make this year’s ride even better than last year’s…which is a high bar. Upfront, I also want to thank our sponsors: Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, BGI, Kihomac, Penske, USAA, and Campus Cycles.
I am super grateful and excited to share that the Air and Space Forces Association (AFA) President Orville Wright, Kari Voliva (AFA VP, Member and Field Relations), and the entire AFA Board have agreed to be official mission partners of the M2M. Together, the AFCT (Air Force Cycling Team) and the AFA will work to continually improve and grow the ride. I don’t think I can overstate the significance of this agreement to the future of the M2M. Fabulous!
- Why we ride the M2M – the Purpose
- Overview of the ride
- Getting to the start
- Daily logistics / bike boxes
- M2M kit
- Equipment considerations
- Routes / Navigation
- Medical Support
- E-6 and below financial help
- Entering the Wright Brothers’ Memorial on Day 0
- Annual Awards
- AFCT rider guidance
- Pitch to donate to the Wounded Airmen Program
- Hotel Reservations
- Thank You’s
- Closing notes
1. The purpose
Our purpose is to have fun, celebrate our heritage, promote fitness and recruiting, and support our wounded brethren. We (US Air Force and US Space Force) can trace our roots back to two bicycle mechanics tinkering in a garage…from bike trails to contrails and beyond! We are building the M2M with a view to becoming an annual ride where thousands of Americans participate, have fun, tackle a big challenge, and learn a bit about our Air and Space Forces.
The full ride is challenging (like a marathon, but longer!). Participants are welcomed to ride a single day or multiple days. Most sign up for all four days. Riding the final day is an attractive option for those with time constraints or living in the DC area.
2. Overview of the Ride
(As we get closer and we have more organized, I will expand this section with details.)
Weds, 6 Sep (Day 0) – arrive in Kill Devil Hills.
Assemble bicycles and prepare all gear/clothing.
Thurs, 7 Sep (Day 1) – 0700 briefing and photos at the Wright Brothers’ Memorial.
There will be at least one hydration stop each day at the 25 mile point.
Additional stops / meals are being organized.
We will have a luggage truck and support vehicles.
At the close of Day 1, we will have a pizza and beverage dinner in the hotel lobby and patio.
Fri, 8 Sep (Day 2, Century Day) – Most riders will set out each day at 0700. At about the halfway point on Day 2’s ride, riders will take a ferry across the James River to Jamestown. The ferry runs every 20 minutes, and the crossing takes about 15 minutes. The ferry is free. We are working on providing lunch at Jamestown. The second half of Day 2, we will ride the Virginia Capitol Bicycle Trail from Jamestown to Richmond. Friday night is at your leisure in beautiful downtown Richmond in the Capitol Area.
Sat, 9 Sep (Day 3) While Day 3 is shorter than days 1 and 2, there are some hills. It should be a neat ride to beautiful Fredericksburg. As of now, our plan is to have a team (all participants and supporters) dinner and storytelling. We also plan to honor our 2023 Hall of Fame inductees (see below) at this dinner.
Sun, 10 Sep (Day 4) We will have several new riders join us at 0700 for Day 4. We will form up at the standard 0700 to begin the ride. Arriving in Pentagon City, we ask all riders to be at the reform parking lot at 1330. For those riders who see that they will arrive approximately 45 minutes or more early, we are encouraging them to proceed straight ahead when abeam Reagan National and visit the Vietnam War Memorial prior to returning to the reform point by 1330. It is the 50th anniversary of the close of the war and IAW our purpose, we are honored to be able to pay our respects and honor all those who fought. We are setting up an agenda at the Memorial for those who can make it.
At the reform point in Pentagon City (I will include a map in a future update), we will form up at 1345 and roll sharply at 1355 for the Air Force Memorial under police escort to arrive at 1400.
At the Memorial, we will have a short ceremony where our guest of honor will hand out the best rider (Orville Wright Award) and best support person (Wilbur Wright Award) awards. We will also take another set of photographs.
3. Getting to the start.
Last year, most out of town riders either flew into Norfolk or drove from their homebase. After the ride, most flyers flew out of DC. We have a bulletin board for those offering or needing rides to the start or from the finish. Once your plans are set or your car is full, please remove your data from the bulletin board so that the bulletin accurately reflects the current needs and offers. Last year, we successfully married up those offering and needing rides. The issue that created the biggest challenge for us was old data on the bulletin board. Please do your part to make the bulletin board work by removing your entries once your request or offer is fulfilled. Google doc:
4. Daily Logistics / Bike boxes
As of now, we will have one Penske 16’ truck. Those flying in and wanting to keep your bicycle box in the truck for the journey can do so. The luggage truck will be open each morning at 0600-0700 at the primary hotel to drop off your luggage. Everyone is asked to limit their luggage to one hand-carry size suitcase unless you coordinate ahead of time. The truck will be at the next evening’s hotel for you to collect your luggage when you arrive. (If the ride grows enough where we need a second set of hotels or even a second truck, we will update the plan.)
5. M2M Kit
The kit store is on our website, M2MRide.com
All kit ordered prior to 27 Mar 23, is now in production and you should receive your kit by the first week of June. Kits ordered since 27 Mar and through the store closing on 10 Jul, will be delivered by 25 Aug. The M2M kit is “forever” kit; we will not change the design each year (other than minor adjustments if recommended by the riders).
For all riders, please note I encourage the M2M kit as it is high quality and we will look great riding together representing and/or honoring our Nation’s military. However, please know that the M2M kit is optional. For those who buy the M2M kit, I request you wear it at least for Day 1 (Wright Brothers’ Memorial) and Day 4 (Air Force Memorial) for our group photos.
The kit tells our story:
Yes! While we are still four months out, if you haven’t already begun to do so, it is a good time to start training. We had great weather last year. Stronger headwinds or rain would have increased the challenge…so please build your strength and endurance to accomplish the ride in challenging conditions.
If you get a chance, practice riding in groups. Please do not overlap wheels with the rider in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to use 12-18 inch spacing.
When you are riding alone, practice holding a line while looking over each shoulder…safely please!
Weather in September in North Carolina and Virginia should be ideal. However, one must be prepared for at least a passing rainshower if not a full day of rain. If rain is in the forecast, I plan to carry a light wind/water breaker. Here are the historical averages for our week.
- · Daily average low temperature: 66 F
- · Daily average high temperature: 85 F
- · 45% humidity
- · 60% chance of clear or partly cloudy (40% chance of mostly cloudy or overcast)
- · 26% probability of rain
- · Wind 9 mph (variable direction)
- · Sunrise 6:47 AM, Sunset 7:27 PM
- Repair kit – I suggest each rider has a repair kit. The key items are a spare tube, CO2 or small pump, tire levers, and a couple Allen wrenches. AFCT members will stop to help anyone in need. If you use your spare tube or CO2, be sure to get another set from the SAG vehicle when able so you are ready for the next flat.
- Mirror: Some riders won’t use a mirror; others won’t ride without one. The important thing is if you look over your shoulder, don’t drift either into traffic, another rider, or off the road. Jack McCombs, our senior rider, recommends using a mirror. His favorite is EVT Safe Zone Bicycle Helmet Mirror.
- Red tail light – I strongly recommend a bright flashing tail light. Even during the day, the tail lights really help cars see you. They become really important if we have reduced visibility and/or rain. And, the groups of riders look great with all the taillights flashing!
- Jacket(s) – Have a plan for rain. If there is even a chance, I will roll up a light jacket and carry it in a back pocket. For those in AFCT gear, please use either a team jacket or a clear jacket if you have them. If not, use what you have as needed.
- Navigation device. See next section.
9. Routes / Navigation (Updated from May update)
The route is not marked. We will post the routes once they are final (Likely in August). If you do not have a navigation device, I recommend you consider buying something.
Navigation. I think one has four options for navigation.
- Use a navigation computer (Garmin 530 comes recommended by our coach, JJ Johnson).
- Use a cell phone app that uses GPS and allows you to run in airplane mode (saving your battery).
- Use google maps or the such with your cell phone; you will need a battery pack to power your phone. (Navigation functions like google maps will drain your internal phone battery).
- Go old school and use a paper map (not recommended) or stay with someone who knows where he or she is going. Be sure to learn how to use your navigation equipment prior to arriving.
Everyone (military and civilian) is welcome to join and assumes their own liability. Neither the team, nor the Department of the Air Force (United States Air Force and United States Space Force) assume any liability.
11. Medical Support
Dr Leslie Knight, a M2M rider, has volunteered to do “house calls” in the evenings and mornings. She will have limited medical supplies and can patch wounds, discuss injuries, or recommend medications for minor ailments. For anything urgent, call 911. We do not have dedicated medical support during the ride (other than 911), but she is glad to take phone calls during the ride if it can’t wait until the evening. Like the SAG vehicles phone numbers, just before the ride I will publish the cell phone number she intends to use during the ride.
12. Financial help
Thanks to our generous donors, we do have some limited funds to offset some costs for E-6 and below who find riding the M2M would create a financial hardship. If this applies to you, contact me. Proper discretion will be respected.
13. Entering the Wright Brothers’ Memorial on Day 0
For those interested in visiting the Wright Brothers’ Memorial (a National Park) the day prior to the ride, please know you can collect a pass at the gate and enter for free with any one of these.
- Interagency Military Pass
- Department of Defense Identification Card (non-expired CAC Card)
- Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
- Veteran ID Card
- Veterans designation on a state-issued US driver’s license or identification card
FYI, the National Park Service offers free lifetime passes to veterans. Follow this link . The pass will get the card holder and 3 other people into any national park for free. Anyone under 16 is free. At parks that charge a per car entrance fee, like the Grand Canyon, the whole car gets in for free.
14. Annual Awards
Like last year, we will honor the top rider at the Air Force Memorial with the Orville Wright Award and the Best Support Person with the Wilbur Wright Award. Along with a plaque, the winner will get a lifetime membership to the AFA.
15. AFCT rider guidance!
- AFCT members will wear team gear all four days, either this year’s AFCT kit or preferably the M2M kit. If you have M2M kit, please wear it at least on Days 1 and 4 for the photos. Day 1 and 4 are full kit days.
- AFCT members will wear an Air Force shirt during off hours (any shirt related to the AF/SF, like a squadron shirt, or your 2nd Annual M2M T-shirt, etc)
- AFCT members will offer help to broken down riders
- AFCT members will not drink alcohol prior to completing the day’s ride
- AFCT members will represent the highest standards of the Department of the Air Force (USAF and USSF) at all times (even to clueless or rude automobile drivers!)
Everyone will get a tech M2M 2023 T-shirt with our updated logo. Those riding RAGBRAI will get their shirt in Iowa. A few will get it via the mail. And most of us will get ours when we show up at the M2M. Last year, several riders asked if they could buy extra T-shirts. The answer is yes as long as you either tell me before I make the order in two weeks or if I happen to have extras. I will know the cost of the shirts in mid-May.
17. Wounded Airmen Program (WAP)
One of the wonderful aspects of the M2M is that we are raising money for the Wounded Airmen Program (fantastic AFA charity taking care of wounded Airmen and Guardians and their families). While there is only a $25 fee to enter this ride, I am requesting every rider consider donating something to the Wounded Airmen Program. I like to tell the sponsors that while they are paying for the lion share of the cost of the ride, we are multiplying their generosity by raising money for the WAP. To donate, go to M2MRide.com and select the appropriate tab down the page. For those of us who wish to go further and become a “Fundraising Ambassador for the WAP,” you can do so. Participants can have their own fundraising page that they can promulgate through their own social media sites (ie, your contacts, friends, and family can support your ride by donating to the WAP). If interested in peer to peer fundraising, go to Air Force Memorial Ride benefitting AFA’s Wounded Airmen Program | Air & Space Forces Association. If you need any help, please contact Joe Macias at firstname.lastname@example.org O: 703.544.9856 C: 202.281.9590. One of our riders has set a personal goal of raising $5K!
18. Hotel Reservations
Make Hotel Reservations (sooner is better so that we can maximize the amount of M2M participants in the primary hotels and so we can negotiate for more rooms if necessary)
For all hotels, let me know if you find the block is full. This happens at different points for different hotels, but all have policies that allow me to increase block size if rooms are still available. If the M2M grows a lot this year, we may have to start filling a second hotel. We have backups should this happen.
Weds – 6 Sep (Check in the 6th, check out the 7th): Kill Devil Hills, Outerbanks, NC
Travelodge By Wyndham Kill Devil Hills
804 North Virginia Dare Trail
North Carolina Hwy 12
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
$94, Breakfast included
Make reservation at:
wyndhamhotels.com – must enter the group code under ‘ Special rate” tab. The group code is Airforceteam1.
Breakfast at 6 AM.
Thurs – 7 Sep (Check in the 7th, check out the 8th): Chesapeake Suffolk, VA
Note: Cutoff date for this pricing is 24 Jul.
Fairfield Inn & Suites
2122 Joliff Road
Chesapeake, VA 23321
$119, (Breakfast included)
Make reservations at:
Book your group rate for M2M Heritage Ride
or by calling 757-966-2727 and stating you are with the M2M Heritage Ride.
Friday – 8 Sep (Check in the 8th, check out the 9th): Richmond, VA
Richmond Marriott Downtown
500 E Broad St
Richmond, VA 23219
$145 (breakfast is not included)
Make reservation at:
Air Force Cycling Team – Start your reservation (passkey.com)
Saturday – 9 Sep (check in the 9th, check out the 10th): Fredericksburg, VA
Note: Cutoff date for this rate is 9 Aug 23.
Hyatt Place Fredericksburg-Mary Washington
1241 Emancipation Highway
Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22401
$199 (Breakfast included)
Make reservation at:
(Let me know if the hotel says this block is full as we have a handshake to open more rooms if we fill the original block and they still have rooms.)
Back up Fredericksburg hotel (if Hyatt fills or if you find it too expensive…we will work the luggage pick up and drop off)
2205 Plank Rd
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
$116 (Breakfast included)
Make reservation at:
Thank you CSAF #21 Gen Dave “JD” Goldfein for the vision and participation.
Thank you CSAF, CSO, CMSAF, CMSSF for your support and considering partaking!
Thank you to Director Trey Munn and the entire Air Force Cycling Team for leadership, support, and participation.
Thank you Dr Leslie Knight for your medical support, 2nd year running.
Thank you Steve Hughes for working the Day 1 NEX break, the Day 2 Jamestown lunch, M2M fundraising, and spearheading the drive to raise money for the Wounded Airmen Program.
Thank you Jack Knight for providing and driving support vehicle #1 providing the daily 25 mile hydration stop.
Thank you Julie Pinchak for driving support vehicle #2.
Thank you Christian Smith and Dan Smith for figuring out Day 4 routing.
Thank you Jack McCombs and Amy Eaton for planning Day 1. (our most developed day by far)
Thank you Joe Macias for the WAP donation page and making peer to peer fundraising possible for the team.
Thank you Kyle Smathers for our fabulous website.
Thank you to my fellow M2M Hall of Fame Board Members (CSAF #21 Gen Goldfein, Christian Smith, Leslie Knight, Drew Patterson, Joshua Johnson, Trey Munn) for vetting and voting on this year’s nominees.
Thank you Stephen Blackband and Nick Phipers at Primal for all the help and discounts with our high quality and beautiful M2M kit.
Thank you Mr Steve Johnson for agreeing to be our truck driver again this year.
Thank you Mark Wilder for planning our pizza and drinks social on Day 1.
Thank you Lauren Memarian for the updated logo.
Thank you Joshua Johnson for realizing the 501.c.3 designation.
Thank you Alan Wilkens for IRS filing for ‘22
Thank you Carmen Panteleo for working approval for our Wright Brothers’ Memorial permit
Thank you Bailey Jenkins and Victor Brooks for working AF Memorial approval, microphone, and flags.
Thank you Alex Duarte for making the Orville and Wilbur Wright and HOF plaques
Thank you Heather Hurlock for your and the Arlington Police Support.
Thank you Michael Barber at the National Park Service for your support.
Thank you Debbie Diaz, Dana Harris, Chris Carter, and Donna Elliottfor KDH Town’s support.
Thank you Police Chief Joel Johnson and Lt James Helms for KH town and KH PD support.
Thank you Kevin McCord and Tom Voorhes for Currituck County support.
Thank you Wallace Chadwick for Chesapeake City PD support.
Thank you Hannah Hockley for building the 2023 M2M Flyer
Thank you Chandler Tillet for Wright Brothers’ Memorial and Drone Photography support.
Thank you Nate Meier for working the Team Dinner/Social in Fredericksburg
Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, BGI, Kihomac, Penske, USAA, Campus Cycles!
Thank you Matthew Donovan and Penn Tseng for Raytheon’s financial support.
Thank you Orlando Sanchez and Kelly Hanley for Lockheed Martin’s financial support.
Thank you Phil Dismukes for BGI LLC’s financial support.
Thank you Ki Ho Kang for Kihomac’s financial support.
Thank you Allison Coffey for Penske’s truck support.
Thank you Chief Tapia for USAA’s financial support.
Thank you Mark Valet and Mike Bowers for Denver’s Campus Cycles spare part support.
Our “Mission Partner”
Thank you to The Air and Space Forces Association (AFA).
Thank you Chairman Bernie Skoch, President Orville Wright, and Do-everything VP Kari Voliva
Finally, before I sign off, two items.
1. It is never too early to:
Register, buy your kit, make hotel reservations, and donate to the WAP! Really, sooner is better! And…start training and sort out your gear.
2. If you would like to volunteer to take on a task or just have a great idea, please contact me. I could always use more volunteers who live near the route and can coordinate with locals.
M2M 2023 is going to be epic! I am grateful for you all!
Comments are closed