350-mile bike challenge for wounded warriors ends in Nashville - WKRN News 2

350-mile bike challenge for wounded warriors ends in Nashville

Posted: Updated: Oct 12, 2012 06:22 PM

Around 150 cyclists with Ride 2 Recovery left Clarksville Friday morning for a 58-mile bike ride to Nashville.

"We are going to be riding on Highway 12 so we are looking forward to riding on the Pat Summit Highway out there."

The bike riders were part of the Ride 2 Recovery Bluegrass Challenge. Ride 2 Recovery helps injured veterans improve their health and well being through individual and group cycling.

Sergeant First Class Richard Gatewood is an active duty soldier at Ft. Campbell assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion.

 "We are out here today to show ourselves and everyone else that just because we are wounded, injured or ill, we are not done yet," he said.

Friday's bike ride to Nashville was the last leg of a six day, 350-mile ride that started in Cincinnati, Ohio. Riding together builds camaraderie and helps soldiers avoid feelings of isolation.

"It is both physical therapy and mental therapy at the same time," said Sergeant First Class Landon Ranker.

 "You are going to be riding and talking with other folks that have been through the same processes you have been through."

Sgt. Ranker is also assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion and always encourages his soldiers to focus on what they can do, not what they can't do.

"As long as you think about what you can do then nothing is going to hold you back."

During the ride, cyclists who are stronger riders give others a helping hand by pushing up hills. Many of the bikes are custom-fitted to physical needs of each rider.

United Healthcare has sponsored seven Ride 2 Recovery cycling challenges this year which allows the service men and women to participate in the rides with out paying for the cost.

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