Driving racecars made Kyle Petty a household name, but he says driving motorcycles was his first love.
“I’m a motorcycle guy, I’m not a car guy. I’m a motorcycle guy,” Petty said. “I got my first motorcycle when I was five or six.”
Since putting his NASCAR days behind him, he’s back to where it all started: riding the roads on two wheels. Each year he takes hundreds of bikers with him for the annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. Southwest Virginia just happens to be one of his favorite drives.
“I’ve been there probably too many times. Maybe they won’t let me back in there this time,” Petty said jokingly. “I’m really looking forward to sharing these places with our riders.”
Although for the first time in more than 25 years, the full ride was postponed due to COVID-19, Petty has created a charity ride revival – halving the event size and time. Bringing 175 of his favorite bikers with him. Bath and Bedford counties are the main attractions.
The Homestead will serve as a reunion of sorts for riders who haven’t been together for more than two years.
“This is no joke, it always pops up when we send out surveys to all of our riders,” Petty said.
The CRR will be based only at The Omni Homestead Resort. In light of the pandemic, Petty said creating a smaller event that will include only former riders will help protect the safety of participating riders and team members.
Other big names are typically part of the ride. This year one of those big names just happens to be his dad, and king of racing, Richard Petty.
After leaving the Homestead on September 21st, riders will make their way to the D-Day Memorial.
“It will be an incredible stop for us. We have a lot of veterans and always have. They are the quiet type of guys that don’t really talk about their service or what they did for this country,” Petty said.
The Charity Ride Revival is a fundraiser for Victory Junction, a charity he started in honor of his late son Adam, that provides a year-round camping facility for children with chronic medical conditions.
“The icing on the cake is being able to send kids to camp. Being able to put a smile on their face and being able to help their families,” Petty said.
To date, he has raised $18 million for the cause, with his event serving as the largest sponsor.
“Anytime you can get on a motorcycle and go enjoy doing something we want to do and be a little bit of help to these families will always keep me coming back,” Petty said.
Kyle Petty’s 2021 Charity Ride Revival Schedule:
- Day 1, Tuesday, September 21 – National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia
- Day 2, Wednesday, September 22 – Seneca Rocks in Seneca Rocks, West Virginia
- Day 3, Thursday, September 23 – New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in West Virginia
Petty said the public is invited to attend the D-Day Memorial in Bedford on Sept. 21 to meet the group.