The 2016 Ride 2 Remember began on July 27, 2016. Team members Kevin Mincio, Kevin Collins, Rob Shields and Mark Larson rode the rails to Portland to establish our starting point – The National Cemetery in Portland. There, we visited the resting places of all three of the soldiers that we sought to remember:
• Army PFC Brett Andre Walton, 37, Portland, OR. KIA 4/9/2007, Bagdad, Iraq
• Army PFC Ken W. Leisten, 20, Cornelius, OR. KIA 7/28/2004, Taji, Iraq
• Army PFC Brian A. Browning – 20 – Astoria, OR. KIA 2/6/2007, Bagdad, Iraq
Our route took us south and west toward the coast toward our destination, Willamina, Oregon, also known as Timber Town USA. That evening, we enjoyed stunningly good hospitality as we watched logging trucks thunder through town at all hours.
Day two took us to the coastal town of Pacific City and then up to Netarts for the evening. The ride included an epic climb over Cape Lookout, a 2.5 mile climb that included 90 degree heat on the way up and 57 degree temps on the decent.
Day three followed the coast to Gearhart, passing through Rockaway Beach, Cannon Beach and Seaside. The winds abated, the temps stayed cool and the riding was world-class. That evening, we were greeted warmly by the members or the Astoria VFW, including the father of Brian Browning. We were treated so very hospitably and were pleased to be able to make a donation to the VFW in honor of Brian and his service to our country.
Riding with and for Team Jesse is a great honor and a great pleasure. The simple act of remembering the individuals that have laid down their lives is a sacred thing and a great honor for each of us riders. BTW, Riders pay all expenses and all contributions supporting the ride go where they should – to support the great work of Team Jesse. Thanks for your generous support for a very worthy cause.
By: Mark Larson