Ride for Life is an annual charity bike ride that benefits the Ronald McDonald House of the Intermountain West. The event was started in 2006 by KUTV personality, Mark Koelbel. Mark had a personal experience with family who needed housing closer to a hospital while receiving treatment for cancer. After this experience, Mark developed a love for what the Ronald McDonald Houses do for families in need and he found a way to give back.
This year the annual Ride for Life received some help from students of the criminal justice security class in preparation for the event. Students were asked to compose a threat assessment for various points of the ride and make recommendations to reduce risk to both volunteers and participants.
The ride was scheduled to start at the Timpanogos Harley-Davidson in Lindon, Utah and finish in Wendover, Nevada. The students mapped out the ride and designated points of concern. Part of the fundraising ride of the event featured a poker run, where riders would draw cards at five different points and would have the chance to win $8,000 at the end. Since there was a high likelihood of cheating at these various stops, the students
tried to determine what forms of prevention could be used. They came up with many suggestions such as sealing the cards in envelopes, using a special hole punch or having unique cards created just for this event. All of these suggestions were passed onto the organizers for review and implementation.
As for security on the day of the event, the students suggested asking current law enforcement officers to volunteer their time. These would be off-duty officers who would be present at each of the stops and provide security for the volunteers.
Reflecting on the experience, one student said, “Although this ride is for charity, you still have to think about possible security issues. Especially since the ride and events change year to year.”