Guam Freedom Grinderz looking for more biking buddies

Guam Freedom Grinderz looking for more biking buddies

Guam National Guard Public Affairs Office

In the early days of COVID-19, Sgt. 1st Class Joey Cruz of the Guam National Guard and friends looked for new ways to stay physically and mentally resilient, give back to the community, and have some fun. While not a military organization, a simple bike ride grew into a fellowship of over 100 riders, military and civilians, all with the same goal. Cruz tells the story below, in his own words.

 

Q: What is Freedom Grinderz, and how did it begin?

C: Freedom Grinderz is a mountain bike group that started around March 2020. At first we were just a handful of friends that started riding our bikes as an alternate way for physical exercise. We were talking about Memorial Day and how it would be awesome just to do a ride to “remember our fallen.” what started with just “let’s get a few of the boys together to do a gate to gate ride” turned into about 75-80 riders that day. Word spread like wild fire and more and more friends and family were added to the group. Freedom Grinderz comes from us Grinding up and conquering any hill or obstacle without quitting, and using our internal fortitude when we feel like quitting. “Cruisin and Grindin” is our motto.

Q: Who makes up FG, and how can I get involved?

C: Freedom Grinderz is made up of a bunch of friends that have two things in common: helping the community, and a passion for mountain biking.  If someone wants to get involved with the Freedom Grinderz, they can follow us on our IG and see when our next big ride is going to be.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with the group?

C: Our group is all about giving back to the community in any way we can. Most especially doing it without any recognition, we do it for the love of our Island. We have ridden to raise awareness for causes such as honoring our fallen brothers and sisters in arms. We also have projects planned, such as creating a safe family area for beginners and experts to ride. But right now, COVID-19 is really hampering our ability to get out there.

Q: Has your service in the Guam National Guard shaped this group in any way? How so?

Being in the military definitely has helped me as a leader and giving us the ability to grow. Most especially with how we treat each other with dignity and respect. We truly ensure everyone is safe without leaving anyone behind during any rides. We pick each other up and motivate one another when there’s a hill too high or a downhill slope too steep. For me personally, the Army Value of Selfless Service puts the welfare of others before oneself without recognition or gain. This attribute I can say, all the Freedom Grinderz have this and live this.

Q: How is the group dealing with COVID-19 restrictions? Any recommendations of what we can all do during these times?

We are trying to stay active, especially during this Pandemic. As for PCOR1 (Guam’s most restrictive Pandemic Condition of Readiness) we have to abide by the order that’s given. We take the restrictions seriously, because our health and loved ones health is important. So when the governor says “no riding” well, I guess I have to build me a track at home, or do whatever we can around the house. But as soon as the roads are open for exercise, you’ll find Freedom Grinderz back out on the road doing what they love, safely!

To learn more about the Freedom Grinderz, visit @freedomgrinderz on IG

 

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