At the beginning of March, at total of 175 injured veterans and their supporters began a 470 mile bike ride from Atlanta to New Orleans called the Ride 2 Recovery Gulf Coast Challenge. Ride 2 Recovery assists veterans in their mental and physical rehabilitation with cycling being the main activity.

One of the riders, Tim Brown, is a triple amputee and former Marine who finds solace in bike riding. Tim picked up bike riding only a year after his injuries. He has experienced depression and other mental issues since then, but claims cycling keeps his woes away. Tim says, “it keeps you from getting down too low, from hitting rock bottom.”

Ride 2 Recovery provides training facilities and bikes to all kinds of veterans. A few of the many bikes available for use are tandems, hand cycles, and traditional road bikes. Lt. Col. Robert J. Friend is a 95-year-old veteran that had a bike created just for him by the program.

Being an amputee, or even being blind, does not stop these veterans from experiencing the full cycling challenge. Kathy Champion was blinded in her left eye from an explosion while serving in Iraq with the Army and became fully blind in 2008. Despite her condition, she learned to ride a bike in 2012. She was able to ride a tandem bike, with her guide, Norma Laing, during the Gulf Coast Challenge.
Kathy found a new sense of freedom in the Ride 2 Recovery challenge. She was even able to help pull another participant along during the ride. “For me, for the first time, I didn’t feel useless. It was kinda cool. It was actually a lot of cool,” said Kathy in a statement. Although she could not see, she was still the strength behind that bike.

According to retired Army veteran, Carmen Vega, cycling “is the best medicine.” She believes that cycling has been the main factor in dealing with her depression. The director of event operations, Joe Coddington, reinforces this by stating that all sorts of stress can be relieved through physical activity.

Many veterans have found motivation in life thanks to Ride 2 Recovery. They also developed a feeling of solidarity, the desire to challenge themselves, and a new sense of well-being. This program gives hope and shows that disabled or injured veterans do not have to give up, but that they can keep moving forward.

If you are a veteran interested in Ride 2 Recovery and would like more information, please follow this link:

The Archuleta Law Firm handles injury, death, and veterans medical malpractice claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act. We handle claims in all 50 States and Worldwide. Our focus is helping Veterans, and the families of Veterans and Military Service Members in their claims involving Veterans (VA) Hospitals, Doctors and Clinics and Military Hospitals, Doctors and Clinics. We handle claims involving the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force.

Source: Military Times