Road 2 Recovery- making a difference in the lives of wounded warriors

Disabled veterans, cycling legends and supporters engage in the 2009 Road 2 Recovery fund-raising rides for cyclists along both coasts of the United States.

Held in partnership with the Fitness Challenge Foundation, the R2R will raise money to support Spinning® Recovery Labs and outdoor cycling programs at Military and VA locations around the U.S. to help injured veterans overcome obstacles they face. Cycling is an important part of the recovery and rehabilitation program for two reasons:
1.Cycling is an activity that almost all patients with mental and physical disabilities can participate.
2.Participation in the Road 2 Recovery Program helps speed up the recovery and rehabilitation process.

Recently, R2R through its donations and partners Star Trac, Mad Dogg Athletics, and the VA placed the R2R Spinning® Recovery Labs at Bethesda Naval MC, West LA, Mayport Naval Base, Boston, Minneapolis, Nashville, Louisville, and San Francisco VA's.

March 30 - April 5 Don't Mess with Texas Challenge
Everything is BIG in Texas and this event did not disappoint. From the start in San Antonio to the state capitol of Austin to the finish at the baseball game at Texas Ranger's Ameriquest Field vs. the KC Royals, this event featured visits to Brooke Army Medical Center, Randolph AFB, and Ft. Hood. Wounded Warriors from the Center for the Intrepid, Ft. Bliss, and Ft. Hood participated. A brigadier general donned cycling tights to join the ride, and former president George W. Bush turned out in Cleburne to greet the wounded warriors and their supporters.

To get the flavor of the event, here are the blog postings and some pictures...
Day 3:
It was the start of another great day in Texas as the R2R group was strengthened by the arrival of several new riders including Preston from the League of American Bicyclist, Ryan from Team Astana, and 12 members of the Army Cycling Club.

As we left Austin, the local elementary school gave us a big sendoff as they lined the road to greet the wounded warriors. They really got into it as we did a second pass through the kids giving high fives and waving signs.

Last night, several of the riders paid a visit to a local bike shop to get some gear. Among the most common purchase was new shoes. For those of you who do not ride much, cycling specific shoes make a big difference in both power and efficiency. Comfort also improves greatly with harder soled shoes. If you try to ride a 6 day ride with tennis shoes, your feet are going to hurt. One of our CFI riders was not sure he was even going to ride, did not know if he even liked to ride, and just came along at the last minute. Ryan Clark is an amazing person. He is an engineer and has a Master's degree. When he is discharged, he will have lots of job offers and as engineers are, very analytical about making decisions.

After a lot of lobbying, he decided to invest a modest sum into a pair of cycling shoes. After a brief tutorial on how to use his pedals and cleats, he was ready to ride. After about an hour, he was the happiest man in the group. 100% better he gleamed as he headed off the front of the group.

The riders were outfitted with deFeet arm warmers as part of the gear they received at the beginning of the event. It should come as no surprise that arm warmers are being used for very creative uses by the wounded warriors. check out this photo as arm warmers are used as sun protector's.....

Last night, several of the riders paid a visit to a local bike shop to get some gear. Among the most common purchase was new shoes. For those of you who do not ride much, cycling specific shoes make a big difference in both power and efficiency. Comfort also improves greatly with harder soled shoes. If you try to ride a 6 day ride with tennis shoes, your feet are going to hurt. One of our CFI riders was not sure he was even going to ride, did not know if he even liked to ride, and just came along at the last minute. Ryan Clark is an amazing person. He is an engineer and has a Master's degree. When he is discharged, he will have lots of job offers and as engineers are, very analytical about making decisions.

After a lot of lobbying, he decided to invest a modest sum into a pair of cycling shoes. After a brief tutorial on how to use his pedals and cleats, he was ready to ride. After about an hour, he was the happiest man in the group. 100% better he gleamed as he headed off the front of the group.

The riders were outfitted with deFeet arm warmers as part of the gear they received at the beginning of the event. It should come as no surprise that arm warmers are being used for very creative uses by the wounded warriors. check out this photo as arm warmers are used as sun protector's.....

Gen. Cheek got the full blown Wayne Stetina treatment, kitted up and spent the day talking to the wounded warrior participants to get their perspective on how the program helps or not their recovery.

The ride was fast today with the big tailwind and we got to the finish more than 1 hour early, which gave everyone a chance to get some extra rest before heading off to Ft. Hood for a gala event with Commanding General Rick Lynch. Gen. Lynch was one of the commanders of the recent surge in Iraq. The surge turned around the fortunes of the people of Iraq and the Ft. Hood 3rd Corp. were instrumental in this success.

More than 400 people paid tribute to the wounded warriors of Road 2 Recovery. It was one of the best evenings in the history of R2R....

Now onto Waco.....

Day 6:
The day got off to a great start when former President George Bush showed up to visit the wounded warriors and give us a big sendoff on our way to Arlington and Texas Rangers Ballpark.

The weather again cooperated with a brisk tailwind to get to the ballpark in time to throw out the first pitch. The last day was full of celebration and looking back at the week that brought us all together. The ride is full of stories that none of us will ever forget.

The three handcycle riders, Travis, Nate and David, who made every mile of the ride. A true show of strength and courage, especially with the wind of day 4. They loved getting the new Michelin tires to help them go faster.

The face of Ryan Clark the 3rd day of the ride after he learned how much fun cycling could be with the proper shoes. The new electronic Shimano shifting kits that Dean and Kenny used changed men and kept them riding strong.

All of the riders surpassed what they thought was possible going into the ride. To see the faces of the riders like Allan Annert and Chad Fleming, who was to ride a hand cycle until Roger Staubach stepped up. Chad was able to get President Bush to sign the bike also, making it one of the most unique bikes in the world.

The towns and schools who came out to greet us waiting until we got there, cheering and singing as we rode by. There was some disappointment as Juan Guerrero was not able to finish the ride.

The public and guest riders like Steve Hayes, Adam Baldwin, and Rich Arthur, who added such a great dynamic to the ride. Our wounded Vietnam vets, Duane Wagner and Jim Penseyres, who helped guide and mentor the younger guys. To all of the volunteers and wives that come along and help out. To all of the sponsors like the American Legion, USO, Star Trac, and especially Benetech of Texas who helped get the Shimano electronic shifting.

We hope that you can join us for the next R2R event....the Memorial Challenge May 25-30... the finish features American Idol winner David Cook in concert in Virginia Beach....

Page last updated Tue April 7th, 2009 at 11:54