A special message from John Wordin, President and Founder, Ride 2 Recovery:

It is with great pride that we announce our latest specially adapted bike for a very special wounded warrior. Project Z was undertaken with a grant from the USO to create a one-of-a-kind adapted bike for a victim of the Ft. Hood Massacre, Staff Sergeant Patrick Zeigler.

[caption id=“attachment_4343” align=“aligncenter” width=“480” caption=“A first look at this one-of-a-kind recumbent bike, specially designed for SSgt. Ziegler. (Photo courtesy of Ride 2 Recovery Facebook page)”][/caption]

SSgt. Ziegler was shot four times. He was shot in the right side of the head, in the left shoulder, left forearm, and left side of my hip. Zeigler was the last remaining victim from the Fort Hood shootings to get out of the hospital just a month ago. He recently relocated back to Ft. Hood after being at the Mayo Clinic for most of 2010.

His recovery will take months, if not years. Part of his skull is still missing, and two bullets remain lodged in his body. Much of his muscle mass has withered away. Walking is still a challenge and for a former runner, the lack of activity has been hard to deal with. But his spirit, determination, and sense of humor are still intact.

At the behest of Jill Cone, wife of Ft. Hood CG Gen. Robert Cone, Patrick and his future wife Jessica, got in touch with Ride 2 Recovery and soon became fast friends with several of the wounded warriors. Patrick wondered out loud if it was possible for him to join in a future R2R ride.

[caption id=“attachment_4344” align=“aligncenter” width=“479” caption=“SSgt. Ziegler gives a thumbs up to "Project Z.” He plans plans to participate in the 2011 R2R Texas Challenge. (Photo courtesy of Ride 2 Recovery Facebook page) “][/caption] First, a bike had to be designed and built for his condition. This has become a specialty of R2R.. How to take normal everyday bike parts and adapt them to suit a specific injury.

The Project Z is the result… The only long cage electronic rear deraileur known in the world so he could use a triple chainring and still have Shimano Di2 shifting. All brake and hand controls on the right side due to his left arm issues, and a trike (due to the severity of his brain injury) with a 700c rear wheel for high performance and fun.

You can join Patrick as he debuts Project Z on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Ft. Hood with a special event commemorating the 1 year anniversary of the shooting.  "Rock the Hood” takes place at 8 am. the 13 mile Run to Remember is open to everyone… Come out and support Ft. Hood….