Concert and ride for head injury set

Published 9:12 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Suffolk will have a day of motorcycles and music this weekend to support brain injury survivors.

Hampton Roads Biker Events will host the Hope After Head Injury ride and concert this Saturday. The 9:30 a.m. group ride will begin at Tidewater Motorcycles on Godwin Boulevard, followed by a 12:30 p.m. concert at Liberty Biker Church on Pruden Boulevard. Tickets are free, but donations are encouraged.

Tidewater Motorcycles will offer free breakfast to ride participants. Remnant Sons Christian motorcycle club will help organize more than 200 motorcyclists and block traffic. Bayside Portsmouth Harley Owners Group activities director Howard Albrecht will lead the ride.

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“If you want to go on a good ride, you want to go on one of Howard’s rides,” Hampton Roads Biker Events founder and president Chris Moore said. “He does the best. They’re organized, safe, scenic, and they’re fun.”

Moore is a Liberty Biker Church minister and an experienced biker by the name of “Chaplain Barefoot.” He is also a disabled veteran and a brain injury survivor. He said he helped organize the event to raise awareness of other people struggling with these difficulties daily.

“We don’t lie to anybody because we’re not going to remember what we tell them,” he said. “It changes what kind of food you like. I’m a different person now completely.”

Concert performer and singer Cristabelle Braden is a fellow brain trauma survivor. She helped organize the Saturday event and will perform as part of her East Coast tour for the release of her debut album “Hope Survives.” She will also perform at Liberty Biker Church this Sunday.

Braden said her 2007 accident made conversations difficult and her future bleak. Doctors said she may not be able to attend college or live independently.

“Brain injury is something that you can’t see on the outside, but it affects every waking moment,” she said.

While she was rehabilitating, she started playing the piano at her house for the first time. She started writing song lyrics while she was having difficulty communicating.

She graduated from Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania with a music and religion double major. She said never thought about being a musician or making an album.

“I just started writing as a way to express myself after the injury,” she said.

She founded the Hope After Head Injury organization to provide support and encouragement to people with brain injuries and their families. She said the goal is to connect and remind them they’re not alone.

“It’s about bringing hope to people with brain injuries,” she said. “Even when medically it makes no sense, miracles happen.”

For tickets and more information, call 236-3730 or visit