Count it as another measure of devotion.
Andrew Rivas celebrates Memorial Day in a special way. He remembers his brother, Raymond, with a long-distance memorial ride.
This year, that ride came through Payson Saturday, May 26. Rivas started from his home in Flagstaff at 6 a.m., accompanied by his good friend, Bill Noble. It was about 42 degrees — a very cool start for a late May bike ride. Adding to the challenge were headwinds of about 50 mph most of the way to Payson.
So count the first leg of Rivas’ ride as another measure of devotion to his brother, Raymond.
Raymond died in 2009 from a wound he suffered while serving with the U.S. Army in the Middle East.
This is the third memorial ride he has made for his brother. While Rivas rides “unsupported,” his brother’s best friend from childhood has ridden with him most of the way.
The first year he did his memorial ride, Rivas traveled from Flagstaff to Ruidoso, N.M., which was a total of 650 miles. Ruidoso was selected because it is where his parents live. Last year and again in 2012, Las Cruces, N.M. was his destination. The town is where he and his brother Ray were born.
“The main reason I do this ride is that I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Memorial Day than to bring attention to all those that gave their life in support of our country,” Rivas said.