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Bikers unite for Wounded Warriors

Motorcycles wounded warriors leesburgTimes-Mirror Staff Photo/John L. Geddie, Motorcycles of all shapes and sizes lined up before the start of the John Marshall Bank Motorcycle Ride to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.

Is your banker also a biker? Before you answer, consider how more than 50 motorcycle riders from a variety of backgrounds assembled June 15 to support the Wounded Warrior Project.

Organized by John Marshall Bank, the ride began at their Leesburg branch and ended at the Shenandoah River State Park in Bentonville for lunch.

For bank president Bill Ridenour, the event was an opportunity to mesh three things he cares passionately about.

Having ridden bikes for 45 years and in the banking business for 40, Ridenour says he always kept track of his business contacts who shared his passion for motorcycles. He thought to himself that one day he’d find a way to combine the two facets of his life, a social event to introduce all the people he had met over the years.

These casual plans changed after his son, Tom Ridenour, was injured in Iraq. A member of the Virginia National Guard mustered out of the Leesburg Armory, the younger Ridenour received his injuries when a roadside bomb destroyed his vehicle in 2008.

His father says that “It made me realize that in an instant things like that can happen.”

Now recovered, father and son both participated in the motorcycle race, along with other riders wanting to support the cause

“There are so many others out there like my son, we need to keep paying attention,” Bill Ridenour said.
With that in mind, he turned to his friends and colleagues among the motorcycle community and extended the event to support returning veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project. What he found was a community excited to take part in the event.

“There are quite a few Purple Hearts issued for this group,” commented Bill Ridenour

The John Marshall Bank Annual Motorcycle Ride is now in its second year, this being the first year it opened up to the general public.

Final participation and fundraising numbers are still pending, but Bill Ridenour hopes to continue the event for years to come.


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