Ride 2 Recovery’s “Rocky Mountain Challenge”

Cyclists participating in Ride 2 Recovery's "Rocky Mountain Challenge" head out on August 1, 2010. (Photo courtesy Ride 2 Recovery Facebook Group)

Ride 2 Recovery’s “Rocky Mountain Challenge” – presented by UnitedHealthcare – took off from Cheyenne, Wyoming, with riders leading off the annual Frontier Days Patriot Parade!   The first day’s ride would culminate at Fort Collins, and it was an especially poignant ride for one cyclist.  Enjoy this great story from one of the ride leaders:

“The highlights of each ride are the wounded warriors that come to the rides to find out something about themselves or try to break through their place in their rehabilitation. One such new rider is Camille from the Ft. Carson WTU. She was injured in an ATV accident in El Paso, TX while stationed at Ft. Bliss. She shattered her right knee in the accident and had to undergo major knee reconstruction.

When Camille showed up in Cheyenne, it was typical of a R2R newbie, part wide-eyed gung ho and part what the heck have I gotten myself into. She was sent with a handcycle. It has been the mission of R2R to work with the Medcom folks to educate them on the proper bike for the specific type of injury a warrior is facing. All too often, the default is to put them on a handcycle. Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes not.

Camille is all smiles as she heads across Colorado during the Ride 2 Recovery "Rocky Mountain Challenge." (Photo courtesy of Ride 2 Recovery's Facebook Group)

As was the case with Camille, she needed something different. When the R2R staff took a look at her, the question immediately was why a handcycle? It is a fact that leg muscles are bigger and more powerful than the arms. It is the philosophy of R2R to put a warrior on a bike that will give that warrior the most benefit as part of their rehab and the most enjoyment. With Camille, her knee injury and rehab was tailor made for a road bike. After all, one of the first things they do with knee rehab is put them on a stationary bike.

We convinced Camille to try a road bike and in fact to ride tandem with Jim Penseyres. After just a couple of miles, Camille was sure she made the right choice and by the time we reached the day’s USO lunch stop in Nunn, Camille had a grin ear to ear and said she could not stop smiling she was having such a great time.

Another great R2R story and a great example of the warrior can do spirit…”

Day 2 took riders from Ft. Collins to Estes Park through the Big Thompson Canyon. It was 32 miles from the turn in Loveland until the riders found the hotel in Estes Park…and almost all of that 32 miles was uphill! The grade varied from 1 or 2 % up to 6% in the steeper sections. It made for a challenging – but ultimately rewarding – day.

The three hand cyclists and one trike rider had a tall order on day 2, in order to make it over the pass and into Estes Park. he ride started at just over 5,000' and climbed to over 7200'. For anyone riding a handcycle or a 3 wheel trike, it is a tall order! (Photo courtesy of Ride 2 Recovery Facebook Group)

Stay tuned for more pictures and stores as the “Rocky Mountain Challenge” continues…

6 thoughts on “Ride 2 Recovery’s “Rocky Mountain Challenge”

  1. Hey that’s me…

    You can’t see my face but I’m easily recognized by my white arm and leg coverings. (I have Lupus and have to stay protected from the sun.) I am also an Army Veteran and Native Coloradoan. I am an MST survivor, who just took part in my first Ride2Recovery. It was a fantastic experience. I hope to participate in many more. As one of the “older” riders out there (my military service was over 20 years ago) I sure was challenged but I am proud to say that I didn’t give up. I rode every mile. I did receive assistance from so many along the way… too many to name. I was honored to have local cycling hero Jimmy D (Jim Dunlap) clean my glasses and give me a push on the final grueling climb of Day 2 in Big Thompson Canyon, and the first one to greet me and congratulate me when I got off my bike at Ft Carson was Bronco Ring of Famer, No 53 Randy Gradishar. I send a big thank you to all at the USO who helped make this possible. So THANK YOU!

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