This is a press release submitted to the Las Vegas Sun. It has not been verified or edited by the Sun.
Debut of Mountain Bike Hand Cycles by injured veterans in Las Vegas
Published on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 (11:02 a.m.)About 35 injured veterans will be once again facing obstacles, but this time it will be on mountain bike trails in Blue Diamond, Nev. from January 27-29, 2014 on the third Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) Las Vegas Mountain Bike Challenge.
For the first time, Ride 2 Recovery will host four injured veterans who will be riding Mountain Hand Cycles. Two of the riders are triple amputees, one is a double amputee and the fourth is has mid-back paralysis. All four have a Lasher Sport Mountain Hand Cycle with adaptations made by R2R that are specific to each rider’s needs. Stan’s NoTubes is creating 29” mountain bike tubeless wheels for the hand cycles to minimize tire flats.
“Hand cycling on mountain bike trails is highly unusual,” said Ray Clark, program manager and mechanic for R2R at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“Each of these guys will be challenged by the width of the bikes versus the trail widths, as well as the weight of the bikes. It is a different skill set when you hit the trails. It’s going to be a learning experience for all of us.”
Many of the other injured veterans will ride the Raleigh Mountain Bike designed specifically for this event. When necessary, R2R has modified these bikes to accommodate injuries of the veterans.
In this Ride 2 Recovery Mountain Bike Challenge, sponsored by MGM Resorts International, cyclists will ride trails based on individual ability and experience.
Ride 2 Recovery, a 501(c)3, sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, helps injured veterans improve their health and wellness through individual and group cycling. Cycling has proven to be a catalyst in the recovery process by providing a new physical challenge while concurrently helping to cope with the mental challenges.
R2R enables service men and women to ride no matter their disabilities modifying road bikes, mountain bikes, hand cycles, recumbents and tandems to fit the needs of riders. The Ride 2 Recovery team of mechanics and professional cyclists has an expertise not found in most bike shops.
In addition to this mountain bike event, there are six Ride 2 Recovery Challenges slated for 2014 ranging from 350 – 450 miles over six or seven days. An average of 200 cyclists ride together in a group but each cyclist faces his or her own challenge. Most riders come from a Warrior Transition Unit to aid in their rehabilitation. All four branches of the military regularly send service men and women to R2R events.
Please contact me directly if you want to help to tell this tremendous story. Riders available for interviews before or after each day’s ride at the Monte Carlo or at specified spots on the ride route. I do hope you will join us or help us to tell the story.