Ride 2 Recovery: Florida Challenge
By Joe Lee
As about 200 wounded veterans and their supporters cycle through Florida, today, the third annual Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) Florida Challenge enters its third day.
Whe the ride is complete on November 21, the riders will have trekked more than 350 miles, from Tampa to Jacksonville, Florida, in an effort to raise funds to support veteran rehabilitation programs. In addition, a live, online auction is now taking bids on various products and services to support R2R.
Many of the participants ride on specially designed, high-tech bicycles, hand cycles, recumbent and traditional road bikes – many of which are custom built for veterans by R2R.
The riders left Ocala, Florida, this morning at 10 A.M., heading to Gainesville – home of the Florida Gators. The group will be treated to a hero’s welcome, including a basketball game between Florida and the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Justin Minyard from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, fist came out to R2R back in May at the Memorial Challenge in Virginia. It was his first effort after suffering from major back surgery and its lingering treatment. In the months since that ride, Justin has really taken to his new trike and has put together a regular training schedule and has been riding 200 miles per week and has lost more than 40 pounds. He wants to begin racing and hope to participate in the upcoming Warrior Games.
Another is Delvin McMillian, riding on his new quad racer. Delvin rides without hands or arms and his prosthetics connect him to the bike and allow him to enjoy the freedom that cycling provides. Everyone marvels at how well he can ride. R2R has broken some great technological ground in the adapted bikes it provides the injured veterans. Today, Delvin became the first person to ride a hydraulic disc brake road bike. The disc brakes allow increased braking power something that you have a hard time doing without hands.
More from the USO
May 15, 2017
USO Operation Birthday Cake Brings the Party to Service Members in Japan
When Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey Lee received an urgent call to head to his work station one morning, he thought there was something seriously wrong, but there was no emergency. Instead, he walked into his own surprise birthday celebration, courtesy of his wife, USO Yokosuka and the Operation Birthday Cake Program.
May 13, 2017
'I'll Never Forget It": Why a USO Fourth of July T-shirt Can Mean So Much
Years ago, I wore my USO T-shirt to a Houston Astros game. Someone stopped me and said, “Thank you, sir.” I turned to see a man holding his young son by the hand. He said he was active duty, leaving soon for Afghanistan.
May 10, 2017
#Flex4Forces and Show Your Strength on Social Media
The USO invites you to get involved in our exciting new digital campaign, #Flex4Forces! The campaign calls on Americans to show their strength as a Force Behind the Forces by striking a biceps flex in support of our nation’s military and sharing it on social media.