By Ignacio "Iggy" Rubalcava (IMCOM)August 19, 2011
Community invited for Sept. 11 ride and picnic
BAUMHOLDER, Germany -- Wounded warriors from Baumholder, Kaiserslautern and other military communities are mounting up on hand crank bikes, recumbent bikes and regular road bikes for a three-day ride in the nearby state of the Saarland and in the Rheinland Pfalz Sept. 9 through 11.
On the first day of the ride the warriors will warm up on the four mile track around Bostalsee, which is near Baumholder. They will ride three times around the lake, covering a little more than 12 miles.
"The second day we're going to do an 18 mile track and warm them up a little bit more and get them ready for the next day," said Daniel Schnock, director of Soldier Ride, Wounded Warrior Project. "We're actually going to take them from point A, straight down a railroad track toward Trier and finish down toward Trier. The warriors will then have lunch on a cruise ship and spend some time walking through the city of Trier."
On the third day, Sept. 11, Soldier Ride participants will return to the Bostalsee for a ride around the lake and they are inviting the community to participate. Start time at Bostalsee for the Community Soldier Ride is 9 a.m. All community members are welcome " whether to cheer from the sidelines or cycle the Soldier Ride route.
"You can do the four mile loop (once around the lake) or the 12 mile loop on that day. It's totally up to you, your skills and what you want to do," Schnock said.
The course is flat and should not be any problem for even the novice cyclist. After the finish of the Community Ride there will be a picnic. For those who are interested to come out and ride, register at www.soldierride.org/germany. There is no fee for registration, this is simply so enough food can be purchased.
"Soldier Ride is an adaptive cycling event for our wounded warriors that gives them a chance to learn what their new normal is," said Schnock. "We get them on bikes, whether a bicycle hand crank, a recumbent bike, or a regular road bike, but we give them a chance after being wounded to say, 'I can get back out there and get on a bike and still do things that I could do in the past even though I might have a new normal or new injury.'"
Although this is the first Soldier Ride WWP has sponsored in Europe, Schnock said the community rides are very popular in the United States and held in 12 cities nationwide throughout the year.
"We do rides in the States where we call it a registered ride," he said. "We find the community comes out and it inspires the warriors and then of course the warriors inspire the community. It's a win-win situation. If you come out Sept. 11, we're going to have a great ol' time at the community picnic."
Reminiscing about previous rides Schnock said, "I've seen kids out there on single speed bikes riding alongside these warriors. I've seen professionals go flying by me. We look forward to seeing the community come out and support these warriors. I promise we'll have a great time."