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The DIRT Dad Fund 2022 Year In Review

Our Mission and Young History

The DIRT Dad Fund was founded on January 26, 2021, to assist the DIRT Zwift team and virtual cycling community. The DIRT Dad Fund received 501(c)3 recognition on May 18, 2021.

Mission Statement: To harness the power of “#TheDIRTEffect” in assisting to ‘take care of our own’ proud, less fortunate DADs experiencing life challenges that have caused financial hardship.

By allocating the proceeds of exclusive limited-edition DIRT merchandise sales to DIRT Dads and Moms in need, the DIRT Dad Fund has impacted the lives of the virtual cycling family.

Highlights of 2022

Through the generous support of the DIRT community, the DIRT Dad Fund distributed $7,429 in financial aid in 2022 and a total of $11,409 since inception.

In the summer of 2022, the fund partnered with Pedal Industries to create a DIRT Dad Fund Store.

Pedal Industries is a US-based cycling outfitter offering a wide range of custom-designed kit and accessories. Pedal Industries fabricates everything in their California-based factory, allowing a zero minimum order on every item but socks and gloves. Item will ship to your door in 4 to 5 weeks, and the store never closes.

A significant portion of the sales goes directly to the DIRT Dad Fund, ensuring future stability, financial solvency, and a pathway to future legacy initiatives.

Your Generosity Has a Tremendous Impact, and This is only a small example!

May 3, 2022: DIRT Alex Johnson and His Amazing Son Zeke

We were stunned when my wife and I first found out our son had a congenital condition. He has a lung mass that affects 1 in 50,000 kids. On top of that, these conditions can sometimes cause the mother to have complications while carrying the baby. Luckily Ezekiel was born without any significant roadblocks. Now, all we had to do was get him through to his surgery date healthy, a task complicated

by covid being prominent in the community. The risk for lung complications increased due to his condition. We decided to decrease the frequency of going out in big groups, which meant canceling our gym membership. For me, exercise has always been a form of stress relief, so cutting that out and adding in the stress of managing this condition made for some tough times. Luckily six months before, I joined zwift as a means to bike without having to travel on the more dangerous roads during the winter.

Soon I joined the DIRT dad group and quickly found a place I seemed to fit in with supportive and fun people. I did not tell anyone about Zeke’s condition until after his surgery, as I was afraid to be so vulnerable with a group of people I’d never met in real life.

May 9, 2022: The DIRT Dad Fund Helps Ease the Burden of Previvor MIRT Elise Mathieu

Thankfully, I don’t have cancer now as a Previvor, but I’m proactively fighting cancer. I have a positive attitude about the surgery decisions, but there’s a roller coaster of emotions. It’s hard to put into words when I am scared, sad, and anxious, but I also try to be upbeat and optimistic about functioning as a human being.

The DIRT community has helped me through my hardest days, specifically the Family Value Ride. Consistently joining every Tuesday built friendship bonds during the pandemic lockdowns through shared humor, laughter over Dad jokes, Discord calls, and Facebook messenger conversation.

I know my relationship with the group has changed a little in line with the changes in my life, but I know they’ll be there for the first ride back, even if I’m hanging out with the Legendary Party Bus.”

May 24, 2022: The DIRT Dad Fund Helps DIRT Kirk Hawks Get Life-Changing Surgery

I wanted to express my deep appreciation for the DIRT community’s assistance with my nerve graft surgery bill. In a lapse of judgment, I had a chainsaw accident that affected my dominant hand. I am a math and sciences teacher at a high school for at-risk youth and struggled to pay the half down required for this surgery. 

I have made many friends and would like to promote the DIRTDadFund for other members who need some help when life throws you a curveball.

June 3, 2022: The DIRT Dad Fund Supports the Freter Family as They Say a First Hello and Last Goodbye

It’s no secret that Zwift and DIRT have been a large part of my cycling experience since I discovered what Arizona summers were like in 2018. I was one of the original members of IndoorSpecialist (now Saris-NoPinz) before becoming a father and an actual Dad Inside Riding Trainers, Tarah was added to the Saris-NoPinz roster shortly after she started smashing the community league before we found out that she was pregnant, even recently doing WTRL TTTs and upwards of two (2) ZRL races each week with the various DIRT squads.

So naturally, I had to let my teammates, both on Zwift and IRL, know what was happening and that I would take a step back for a little bit. At this point, I had a couple of DIRT guys ask about starting a GoFundMe, applying for the DIRT Dad Fund aid, etc. Still, I couldn’t focus on the financial implications of having hospital bills from two countries and last-minute emergency flights for three people, yet the DIRT Dad fund was still there for us.

As most condolences and checkups waned, Christopher and the DIRT family were still there for me and us.

Eventually, as bills kept rolling in, now well into the 5-figure mark collectively, I swallowed my pride and took the DIRT Dad Fund up on their offer of assistance. I was overwhelmed when I saw that we got $1,000 for our bills. 

Tarah and I are thankful for the flowers, the artwork, the Panera dinners, and all of the empathy that our friends and family have bestowed upon us. When we are able, I look forward to giving back to the community that has helped us so much.

You can read more about The Freter’s heartbreaking story here.


On behalf of The DIRT Dad Fund Committee, I’d like to extend our sincerest gratitude for the community’s generosity and support. The DIRT Dad Fund is nothing without you!

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