“You gotta be handy with the spin if you know what I mean, earn your keep” … okay, maybe that isn’t exactly what Emilio Estevez said in Young Guns (no folks, Warren G didn’t write that part, its from a movie), but it fits better with whats in store.

As we cruise through August, rapidly approaching labor day weekend and the start of football season, there are in fact other things happening in the world. September 11th will mark the 16 year anniversary of the terrorist attack that fell the World Trade Center towers (along with the Pentagon).

This will also mark the 5th year that a group of motivated people in Las Vegas have put together an event dedicated to the memory of those fallen on that infamous date, as well as for those who have given in the name of their country.

2977, that is the number of lives lost on September 11, 2001, including 343 from FDNY, and another 60 from NYPD and transit police.

6874, the number of military casualties as of a year ago from Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraq Freedom, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve, and Freedoms Sentinel.

Starting at 1:46 PM (PST) on Saturday September 10th, there will be a charity “ride” going on in front of the S. Durango EOS Fitness location in Las Vegas. For the next 16 hours (one hour for every year since the event) a group of men and women (and lets be honest, its mostly women) will be on spin cycles, literally working their asses off to raise funds for a charity called Defending Freedom

Taken from the Defending Freedom website, this is their mission statement

In the past decade many of our beloved countrymen have been overseas fighting against what seems to be a never ending stream of terrorism. In March of 2003, Nevada Benefits Foundation was created to support these honorable service men and women who are willing to sacrifice everything for the ultimate prize of freedom.
The Nevada Benefits Foundation was started in an effort to raise awareness through our Defending Freedom wristbands whereby we have found a way to keep our troops always in our hearts and thoughts while showing continued support. We have “banded together” in pride and patriotism recognizing we will never forget about the sacrifices made by the brave men and women fighting to defend our freedom. Over 673,000 Defending Freedom Wristbands have been sent overseas to our troops to show unity and encouragement.
In our continuing effort to lend assistance we have made a significant difference in letting troops know that they will never be forgotten. 100% of our proceeds go to military charities to help the troops themselves in addition to their families. In doing this, we have influenced the lives of many individuals and families worldwide. Some of the charities we have donated to include Marine, The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, Armor 4 Troops, Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, Soldier Ride, Snow Ball Express, Disabled Sports USA and Wounded Warrior Project. We also provide assistance to other military charities by donating our Defending Freedom wristbands for them to sell and keep 100% of all revenues from the sales for their charity. By making these contributions we are the one place that the troops and their families know they can come for support.
In 2005, The Nevada Benefits Foundation commissioned a memorial located at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The memorial is comprised of seven sandstones with the engraved names of Nevada’s own fallen servicemen and women. Once a year the Foundation hosts a dedication ceremony for the families of the fallen heroes to honor their sacrifice. The ceremony is open to the public and provides a forum for the families as well as the community to show solidarity and support.
Nevada Benefits Foundation has offered a way for all of us to show our appreciation and gratitude to our troops. By joining forces with Nevada Benefits Foundation you can make a statement of backing to the brave, selfless and courageous men and women that defend our freedom every day! We invite everyone to visit to learn more about how to “band together” to make a positive change in the lives of our military and their families
Nevada Benefits Foundation/Defending Freedom.Org is a non-profit 501 (3) Organization.
“God Bless This Great Country & God Bless Our Troops!”
Phil Randazzo, Founder

Defending freedom ride

Why 1:46 PM you ask? That means the ride will end 16 hours later at 5:46 AM (PST) on September 11th, the time when the first tower was struck.

There will be some tears shed, buckets of sweat will pour, more than one donut will be consumed, the national anthem will be played, and there is no doubt everyone in attendance will stand for it, and if last year was any indication, thousands of dollars will be raised to help support veteran causes.

In 2016 the event helped to raise $15,500. That money was donated to the Las Vegas chapter of U.S. Vets. At the time, their facility, which provides hot meals to homeless vets, was undergoing a remodel. The $15,500 went to providing alternative sources of food while the kitchen was out of commission.

Defending freedom donation

Hopefully at this point, if you’re a decent human being, you’re asking, can I be one of the riders? Or can I donate, or sponsor someone else to ride? Well, the answer is, You’re Ducking Right you can! (and if you weren’t asking that, you just read that statement, and now its in your head… if you want it out of your head the only way to do it is to donate, otherwise it’ll be like you’re at Disneyland listening to “its a small world after all” and that just doesn’t leave you)

If you’d like to sign up to ride, you can rent one of the cycles for $40/hour. You can ride for just the hour, or if you’re feeling ambitious you can go for the full 16 hours. Its grueling no doubt, but I’ve witnessed many that have pulled it off at previous events. You’ll walk funny for a bit, but the sense of accomplishment and community you’ll feel when done is second to none.


freedom ride

Maybe your business or office would like to pool together the $640 to cover the full 16 hour ride, and just have each person take hour shifts? Its not uncommon for the riders to get people to sponsor them, like when you were a kid and had though bowl-a-thons. You’re friends and family can donate $40 in your name, with you riding as many hours as you’re able to fit in. Or maybe you’ve just got extra money laying around that you’d like to donate to a worthy cause, you can pay for yourself to ride, or send in a donation while you relax on the couch watching Sunday Night Football.

The bottom line is this. While most of us (all of us, including the people participating) would rather be relaxing on a Sunday afternoon, eating wings, drinking a beer or five, these dedicated people will be putting their sweat and tears (hopefully no blood) into making their community a better place, and supporting those that have, or are defending our freedom, our country.

Whether you donate money online, if you participate and ride, or if you bring your kids down, show them that people are out there working to be the change, to make the world a better place, and drop $5 into a jar, this cause, and these people deserve your support. will be there. I rode last year, and my wife has ridden the last few years. So come down, if you can’t donate, lend your moral support. More than one participant will have had their life impacted by military service, whether through a loved one, or by serving themselves. A smile, a thank you, and other words of encouragement go a long way.

So remember, September 10th, 1:46 PM until September 11th, 5:46 AM, donate to a great cause, get in a great hour (or more!) of exercise, and be part of the community of people invested in making our world a better place.



  • Jason Sullivan
  • You can find me on Twitter @TopDucker


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