National President’s Message
Jim Berklite President
Jim Berklite President
Fire Velo Members,
Approximately ten years ago I conceived the idea of a cycling club made up of firefighters. This non-profit organization would be a social riding club with a vision of raising money to support firefighters and their organizations in their battle against cancer.
Our main fundraising ride was San Francisco to Los Angeles (SF2LA) and our first year saw ten firefighters riding down the coast, sleeping in tents and eating mostly cold food in state parks. That was some experience.
A membership at that time was a mere $100 and you got a rider jersey. A $1000 tax-deductible donation got you a National Membership status and you were set for life.
From there we created the annual Los Angeles to San Diego (LA2SD) ride, rode in the Tour of Palm Springs, Patriot Ride, Tour de Sewer, America’s Most Beautiful Ride and many others.
We’ve raised hundreds of thousands in donations and placed those monies with many organizations.
We’ve also enjoyed some great camaraderie and made many important contacts over this decade.
We are working with the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) and the State of Washington to implement both the San Francisco Fire and North West Fire Velo Chapters.
Preliminary discussions are underway for number of rides including a West Coast to Colorado Springs ride to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Fallen Firefighters Memorial September 2019, Ride Across America (RAAM) 2019 with a a repeat ride cross country in 2021 for the 20th anniversary to just mention a few.
We are rolling out a new enhanced website which will allow us to take online membership, registration for events and a merchandising site.
Our costs have increased, but other than the ride fees; we have never charged any additional fees or annual membership.
Therefore, the Fire Velo Board has recently approved a $25 renewal fee, good for three years payable no later than May 1, 2019. Our new website will have a platform to enroll all those who want to stay in the Fire Velo tent. Membership would be required in order to ride SF2LA or LA2SD, etc.
It’s an exciting time and we hope you’ll join us going forward.
This is a great time to join Fire Velo as we look forward to an exciting 2019!
Present and Founder / Fire Velo