HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force Cycling Team prepares for 2018 season

Senior Master Sgt. Larry Galo, Air Force Cycling Team director, leads the team during the Ride for Heroes event in Texas, April 19, 2014. The AFCT works to promote the Air Force by interacting with the American public at cycling events across the United States. (Courtesy Photo)

Senior Master Sgt. Larry Galo, Air Force Cycling Team director, leads the team during the Ride for Heroes event in Texas, April 19, 2014. The AFCT works to promote the Air Force by interacting with the American public at cycling events across the U.S. (Courtesy photo)

Members of the Air Force Cycling Team help an injured cyclist after she fell during the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, in Charles City, Iowa, July 27, 2017. During the RAGBRAI, AFCT members provided assistance to more than 5,000 cyclists. The team works to promote the Air Force by interacting with the American public at cycling events across the United States. (Courtesy Photo)

Members of the Air Force Cycling Team help an injured cyclist after she fell during the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, in Charles City, Iowa, July 27, 2017. During the RAGBRAI, AFCT members provided assistance to more than 5,000 cyclists. The team works to promote the Air Force by interacting with the American public at cycling events across the U.S. (Courtesy photo)

Senior Airman Jacob Pinkney, 860th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-17 Globemaster III crew chief and a member of the Air Force Cycling Team, pulls a toddler in a stroller carrier to give the child's mother a break during the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa July 26, 2017. During the RAGBRAI, AFCT members provided assistance to more than 5,000 cyclists. The team works to promote the Air Force by interacting with the American public at cycling events across the United States. (Courtesy Photo)

Senior Airman Jacob Pinkney, 860th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-17 Globemaster III crew chief and a member of the Air Force Cycling Team, pulls a toddler in a stroller carrier to give the child's mother a break during the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa July 26, 2017. During the RAGBRAI, AFCT members provided assistance to more than 5,000 cyclists. The team works to promote the Air Force by interacting with the American public at cycling events across the U.S. (Courtesy photo)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Interacting with the American public at cycling events across the U.S. may not sound like something many people think of members of the Air Force doing.

However, that’s the mission of the Air Force Cycling Team, a group of Airmen who call themselves the “Guardians of the Road.” According to the team’s mission statement, it’s dedicated to promoting the Air Force in the most positive way possible.

The team consists of more than 400 Airmen in regional chapters from California to Massachusetts. Every year, members participate in numerous cycling events, often serving as course marshals where they help cyclists fix flat or punctured tires, replace broken chains and even provide water to those in need.

“We are a group of riders who like to help people,” said Senior Airman Jacob Pinkney, 860th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-17 Globemaster III crew chief and AFCT member since 2015. “Some people may have been riding for years, but others may not know how to change tires or fix parts on their bikes. We enjoy donating our time to something we love while helping others and representing the Air Force.”

Pinkey is a member of the California chapter of the AFCT, based out of Travis Air Force Base. He said the greatest experience he’s had as part of the team was helping riders during the 2017 Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa in July, a 500-mile trek starting along the state’s western border with the Missouri River and ending at Iowa’s eastern border along the Mississippi River. The RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world.

At RAGBRAI, Pinkney was one of 150 AFCT members serving as course sentries. The event closes the team’s riding season every year and often draws more than 20,000 people.

Tech. Sgt. Samuel Kennedy, Air Force Band of the Golden West regional bandsman and member of the AFCT, shares Pinkney’s sentiments.

“We want to show people the highest levels of excellence that exist across the Air Force,” he said. “Our team consists of men and women, active-duty Airmen, Reservists, Air Force civilians and retired service members. We care about all we do, whether we’re riding 100 miles or serving on the flight-line.”

During RAGBRAI, Kennedy helped several people, including an older gentleman he said he will always remember.

“I saw an old man who was struggling on the second day. He must have been 93 years old and he looked dazed, so I stopped to help him,” said Kennedy. “I got him some water and we sat down in the shade for an hour talking. I shared my story about how I served at five different duty stations and I learned he was a World War II veteran who served in the Navy. After that, we got on our bikes and continued the ride, but it was neat to meet him and swap stories. I also enjoyed knowing I was able to help him finish that day’s ride, which was the longest single-day ride of the event, more than 80 miles.”

Throughout the seven-day event, members of the AFCT assisted an average of five cyclists every day, amounting to more than 5,000 total assists and people noticed.

Having an opportunity to be a positive force for the Air Force means a lot, said Kennedy.

“I like wearing the Air Force jersey and showing my pride to as many people as possible,” he said. “At RAGBRAI, we’re riding with 20,000 riders every day so we’re bringing the Air Force to people who may have never interacted with the Air Force before. We’re also helping people in a myriad of ways all while representing the Air Force. We may come across someone who may not be a military supporter. And maybe, we stop to help that person with their bike or give (him or her) some water, and maybe, that changes their perspective.”

The AFCT hopes to recruit more riders and have an even greater impact with their 2018 season, which runs from February to August, said David C. Bell, the team’s California regional leader.

Bell has been an Air Force civilian employee for nine years and works as a regulatory media expert for the Regulatory and Legislative Engagement Division for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center. He has been a member of the AFCT for three years.

“I would like to see our regional teams grow,” said Bell. “I want to build a larger team so we can provide a greater service for charity rides we support. Often, we only send four or five riders to those events, but it would be nice if we could send more riders to showcase the Air Force.”

Bell stressed anyone who has a love of cycling and a desire to represent the Air Force can join the team.

“The AFCT isn’t a competitive racing team,” he said. “All are welcome regardless of their fitness level. We ride for the enjoyment of the sport, to be active in an activity we enjoy while serving as ambassadors for the greatest Air Force in the world.”

For more information about the AFCT, visit the team’s website at http://afcycling.com/.

Engage

Twitter
The Installation Resilience Operations Center prototype is a game-changing solution for enhancing base security, em… https://t.co/ATHhejDoQJ
Twitter
“It’s important that you will be able to lead through complex challenges,” @GenCQBrownJr said. “I really want to ch… https://t.co/UI86usPVtO
Twitter
VCSAF Gen David W. Allvin visited various @AFResearchLab facilities to see how the 711th Human Performance Wing is… https://t.co/F5tpk0Mabc
Twitter
Invisible Wounds: Signs and Symptoms The Invisible Wounds Initiative, an @AFW2 Support Program, leads in creating… https://t.co/4SeYhlQuua
Twitter
Maggie Gee and Hazel Ying Lee were two of the first Chinese-American aviators to join the Women Airforce Service Pi… https://t.co/txl43oLLRs
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: Listen to SrA Francis Andrew, assigned to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, tell his story as one of the 'Lost Boys of Sudan.…
Twitter
#ICYMI Aircraft loaded with #COVID19 supplies left @Travis60AMW, California, bound for India. This shipment was jus… https://t.co/YdYFniZyok
Twitter
“While there are a lot of people who have done great things in the #AirForce, we wanted to recognize diversity and… https://t.co/bTH2aP5emk
Twitter
“It is a real honor, and I wish I could be there in person,”@GenCQBrownJr said during his acceptance speech. “I’d r… https://t.co/DH5Ou832K5
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: 1/ OSI's Guam based Detachment 602 recently spent time strengthening relationships throughout the Commonwealth of the North…
Twitter
RT @grandslamwing: Mobilizing to assist - anywhere, anytime. Members from #TeamAUAB aboard a C-17 from @TeamCharleston took off to assist t…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: .@HiAirGuard Airmen deployed to California to participate in exercise Sentinel Response 2021 alongside @CalGuard Airmen a…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr and @cmsaf_official discuss the best ways to help Airmen's talent to bloom. #Airmen #Questionshttps://t.co/GGDHJkiOOb
Twitter
Airmen at the 149th Fighter Wing, Texas, demonstrated an autonomous machine solution for an @AFWERX innovation init… https://t.co/5ZGnnOPfYi
Twitter
During a quarterly senior leader review, @KesselRunAF & @USAF_ACC leaders agreed the Air Operations Center Weapon S… https://t.co/FnXQYIiG86
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek starts today! This is a chance to acknowledge the civil servants who dedicate themselves t…
Twitter
#ICYMI - The Air Force Employee Assistance Program has expanded the available resources available to #AirForce civi… https://t.co/t1eC1eRPfb
Twitter
RT @PACAF: #Airmen from PACAF conducted bilateral training with @JASDF_PAO (Koku-Jieitai) to enhance joint deterrence and response capabili…
Twitter
For 40 Airmen, the standard, manual deployment process averages four hours & 15 minutes per Airman from start to fi… https://t.co/Q8clDOwq3g
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,346,469
Follow Us