The MDA RIDE Celebrates 10 Years: A Success Story

The idea to organize a motorcycle charity ride originated in the USA in the early 1980s. The American Love Ride, which has extended to Switzerland and Mexico in the meantime, became an inspiration for Josef „Káďa“ Kadeřábek, a lifelong motorcycle fan and a then director of the Harley Owners Group Praha Chapter. After more than a year of preparation and active communication with the Love Ride founder in the USA and the Love Ride Switzerland organizers, Káďa decided to organize the same charity event in the Czech Republic together with Daniela Odehnalová and a group of other friends.

So on March 23, 2009, the MDA RIDE association was founded as a non-profit organization in the field of public awareness of neuromuscular diseases organizing the annual MDA RIDE charity event. How should the event look like? The main point of the schedule should be The Graceful Ride Through Prague, a ride of motorcycles of all brands and sizes with muscular dystrophy patients in side-cars or in partner vehicles. Visitors from the general public would spend one day together with muscular dystrophics, enjoying an exciting program and the proceeds of the event should then go directly to specific needs of muscular dystrophy patients.

A nice sum of 182 000 CZK was raised during the first event which was held at the parking lot of the Letňany shopping mall in September of the same year. Among the others, the Strahov rock revival band performed for visitors. It has been performing annually ever after and became also one of the MDA RIDE Advocates. Starting with the second year, the event is being held in June and at a new location - at Hořejší nábřeží in Smíchov district of Prague, and is gaining an important partner - the city district of Prague 5. Offhand it was possible to raise more than twice the amount. After the third year it was more than 1 million CZK in total. Many famous celebrities, such as singers Jakub Smolík and Zdeněk Podhůrský, the Miss 2009 and TV presenter Iveta Vítová, a showman Vladimír Hron and Petr Vondráček, an actor, pianist and frontman of rock'n'roll Lokomotiva band and many others, have gradually joined and still support the MDA RIDE. The MDA RIDE has become a successful charity event. It has managed to raise 2,8 million CZK to benefit of muscular dystrophy patients during the seven years.

But a breakthrough came in 2016. The event moved to the very center of Prague to Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square) and sharply enlarged. And not only that - the proceeds surpassed the magical amount of 1 million CZK. And also the next ninth year was same successful. We are honored that the Czech MDA RIDE has been supported over its history by such celebrities as Oliver Shokouh, owner of the Harley-Davidson of Glendale dealership in California and chairman and founder of the Love Ride Foundation, William Godfrey "Willie G" Davidson, the legendary motorcycle designer, former Senior Vice-President of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and grandson of one of the founders, or Max Gemperle, founder and chairman of the Swiss Love Ride.

At the present time, the MDA RIDE is the largest motorcycle charity event in the Czech Republic, the only such project in the European Union and (after the Swiss Love Ride) the second one in Europe. In the first nine years, it has been able to raise 4,9 million CZK to benefit of muscular dystrophy patients associated in the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the Czech Republic and the Parent Project. The MDA RIDE five-member committee is already starting to prepare another, this time a jubilee 10th MDA RIDE which will be held on June 16, 2018. The tenth ride-out which is definitely not a carefree one. The more people will go with us, the more we can help those who can only ride a motorcycle with our help.