Pop Culture News

Riki Rachtman & Lea Vendetta’s Charity Ride Raises Over $30k For Stop Soldier Suicide

Riki Rachtman & Lea Vendetta spent most of 2018 on a motorcycle. Together they rode over 14,000 miles. They experienced a lot of rain, a little snow and several days over 106º. Much of the route featured stops suggested by social media which led to some very unpredictable moments all caught on video then posted to social media. They hung out with the Foo Fighters at Wrigley Field, were surrounded by buffalo in South Dakota and went searching for ghosts at the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Colorado. Boston Creme Pie in Boston, New England Clam Chowder in New England, Chicago Pizza in Chicago, Denver Omelette in Denver, Cheese curds in Wisconsin are just a few of the toponym’s on the list of stops during RIKISRIDE18.

Most would know Riki Rachtman from his rock n roll career in radio and tv most notably as host of MTV’s Headbangers Ball. Riki has always had a passion for riding motorcycles which he combines with his immense desire to support some very deserving charities. 5 years ago Riki started Riki’sRide . In those 5 years he has ridden from Mexico to Canada twice, ridden coast to coast 11 times and during RikisRide2017 he rode through all of the 48 contiguous states. Riki has ridden his motorcycle alone on all of these adventures. 2018 Riki decided it would be the FINAL ride and he wanted to do it bigger and better

Lea Vendetta – She’s French, an award winning tattoo artist, a gorgeous model, a media personality and entrepreneur. She was featured on season 1 of Spike TV’s Inkmaster. Lea had never been on the back of a motorcycle when she accepted the invitation to join Riki for the first leg of RIKI’s RIDE 18 . A trip up the California Coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Lea never left the back seat of the Indian motorcycle14,000 miles later the two have seen practically every state in America and experienced the people places and true flavors of this country

RIKISRIDE18 was not only entertaining to the legions of fans waiting to see where Riki & Lea would end up next but it had a very important purpose. “On a ride in 2017 I was speaking to a man that had served in Afghanistan.” Riki Rachtman explains “ He had told me the small group of men and women he served with all made it back home but when he had reached out to them several months later he had found out that 2 of them had taken their own lives. Soldier Suicide was something I had not even heard of. I was floored and wanted to do something.

RIKISRIDE18 purpose was to educate and get the word out about Soldier Suicide and try to raise as much money as possible. 22 veterans commit suicide EVERY DAY. Riki made it his mission to raise $22,000 for STOP SOLDIER SUICIDE a non profit organization that helps service members and veterans in need of assistance. Through online donations and the sales of T-shirts and collectible mugs RIKISRIDE 18 raised in excess of $30.000 . No portion of the money raised was used as expenses for the ride.

DEATHWISH COFFEE served as a sponsor for RIKISRIDE18 in addition to helping with some of the travel expenses they arranged several stops in locations that were largely attended not only by fans of Riki & Lea but veterans and families of active military. “The stops in Alabama left a lasting impression on me” explains Lea Vendetta “Hundreds of people showed up and many shared their experiences how soldier suicide impacted their families. I had no idea this problem was as big as it is and is often ignored. I could not be more proud to be associated with the ride and STOP SOLDIER SUICIDE.

STOP SOLDIER SUICIDE works 1-on-1 with troops, veterans, and military family members to help navigate the maze of services, programs, and assistance available.

They work to identify each individual’s specific needs, find the right resources to meet those needs, and provide continued support and personalized case management for 24 months.
Resources include:

• Mental health, PTSD, and/or TBI referrals
• Emergency financial aid
• Housing assistance
• Alternative therapies (HBOT, art therapy, equine therapy, etc.)
• Retreats for military, veterans, and their families
• Education / GI Bill
• …and much more.

RikisRide17 and RikisRide18 was completed on an Indian Motorcycle. American Made since 1901.

The media and public are invited to meet Riki and Lea at the Check Presentation Party on Friday, December 7th, 2018 at Ride Now Powersports in Concord North Carolina. There will also be representatives of STOP SOLDIER SUICIDE.


Meet Riki & Lea at the RIKISRIDE 18! Free Death Wish Coffee Company & Bojangles’ Bo Berry Biscuits. Take a picture with Riki, Lea and the Indian Motorcycle from RikisRide 17 & 18!

FRI DEC 7 – 7:00 PM

The party will also be streamed LIVE on www.rikisride.com.