As you read earlier this week, Ride 2 Recovery cyclists are currently participating in the “Don’t Mess with Texas Challenge,” a six-day, 350-mile ride from Brooke Army Medical Center to Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Day 2 took the cyclists from San Marcos to Austin and one participant share this account of the day: “The day started under cloudy skies and a light rain. With the forecast calling for slight headwinds, it looked like it was going to be a long day. Instead the rain stopped and with the cloudy skies and cool temps, it made for great riding weather with almost no wind.
One of the great parts of the R2R program are the general public riders that take part in the ride. These cyclist raise about $3,000 in order to take part in the ride and 2 of the more colorful riders…The 16 strong group has ridden together since we left CFI and the camaraderie has been amazing. The group has riders from Ft. Bliss and Ft. Hood that are here at R2R for the first time.”
The Texas hill country is known for its sharp but short hills. With a large number of brand new injured veteran riders from the WTU system, it is very important to teach them to ride a good paceline and get them all set up in nice smooth pedaling groups. The simple tasks of riding like shifting and braking become more important with the up and down nature of the terrain.
Day 3 saw the cyclists hitting the pavement on roads leading from Austin to Fort hood. With clear weather and only a light headwind, the ride went smoothly. And best of all was the addition of the Chief of the Army, Gen. George Casey, along for the ride!
As one rider explained, “He went out with the moderate group today, which is typically the biggest group on the road. He had never ridden much with a group so it took a little getting used to. Gen Casey came to cycling after ankle surgery left him not able to run without significant pain. He had prepared himself by riding from Fort Meyer to Fort Belvoir.”
Gen. Casey rides along with wounded veterans Nate and Delvin; the General joined the Ride 2 Recovery cyclists on the third day of their ride.
The General was able to keep up just fine and lifted the morale off all the riders. As they neared Fort Hood, Gen. Will Grimsley – the acting commanding general at Fort Hood – lead the group onto the base and hosted a community reception along with his wife Jill. Great work, everybody! Tomorrow’s route takes the group from Cleburne to their final destination: the Arlington Ranger’s Ballpark. Check out the map below and see if you can cheer them on…
On Sunday, April 11 riders will travel 42 miles from Cleburne to Arlington Ranger's Park.