The Ride For Life is the summer equivalent to February's Arctic Blast, both of which benefit the Vikings Children's Fund. Since 1978, the Vikings have raised $10 million for research toward curing childhood illness. A partnership forged with the University of Minnesota's Department of Pediatrics has helped find breakthroughs in the management and cure of childhood illnesses that formerly were a near-death sentence for the kids and their families.
The ride will start at the Blue Heron Grill in Hugo – a far northern suburb of the Twin Cities. Day-of-event registration will start at the Blue Heron at 9 a.m., as well as 12:30 p.m. in Hinckley. Those along for the motorcycle caravan (as well as non-riders wanting to get in on the convoy) will depart Hugo at 1 p.m. for the 50-mile trip to Hinckley. While some motorcycle enthusiasts could get that down in about 35 minutes, the Sons of Anarchy will hit Hinckley about 2 p.m.
Current Vikings Christian Ponder, John Sullivan, Toby Gerhart and D'Aundre Reed will be among the list of players taking part in the event, as well as several former Vikings of Minnesota lore. It's a rare opportunity for Vikings fans to rub shoulders and update Facebook photos.
The Ride For Life is part of the ongoing Vikings commitment to charitable causes, highlighted by the Viking Children's Fund. Vikings cheerleaders will be on hand to pose for photos and sign calendars and team mascot Viktor will also be on hand.
For those who want to take part in the Ride For Life, whether as a biker or a follower, the participation cost is a $15 donation to the VCF, which makes one eligible for prizes at the ending point in Hinckley. More than $20,000 in prizes will be given out, including a $5,000 cash grand prize – which may or may not leave suburban Hinckley.
The event is supported by the Minnesota State Patrol, which will oversee the ride route, as well as local law enforcement. For more information, call the Vikings event line at 952-828-6577.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.