WINDHAM, N.Y. – The Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) will be welcoming more military veterans next week as it hosts its second of two Warriors in Motion® (WIM) road cycling events from Tuesday, May 23-Thursday, May 25.
The ASF is expecting six veterans to make the trip up to Windham to participate in the program, which will take the group to several different towns in the surrounding area, an aspect that ASF Program Manager Tony Vasile really enjoys. “We cover so much ground, which allows us to see so much of what the Catskills have to offer,” he said. “Going from town to town, it seems like every 10 miles the scenery changes so much.”
The warriors and ASF volunteers will meet for the first time on Tuesday afternoon at the ASF’s Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center for bike and equipment fitting and lunch before they raise their kickstands and go out for their first ride. The group will venture on an uphill ride from the Windham Path entrance on Route 296 to CD Lane Park in nearby Maplecrest and back, for a total of around 10 miles. After the initial trek, the warriors will check into their hotels and get ready for a catered dinner at the ASF Lodge.
Depending on how the warriors fare on the hills into Maplecrest, Wednesday’s ride will be one of two routes. They will either make their way from the Windham Path parking lot to Colgate Lake in East Jewitt, an 11-mile ride that features an 1,100-foot climb in elevation along the way, stop for lunch and ride back or they will bike from the Windham Mountain parking lot to Hunter along Route 23A, stop for lunch at Dolan’s Lake, continue their ride Devil’s Tombstone Campground and ride back to the lake, a total of over 25 miles. The ride to Colgate Lake involves a significant climb, but the ride into Hunter is a longer distance. Either way, the WIM group will get an intense full-day workout. After the ride ends, the ASF shuttle bus will drop the warriors back at their hotels to get ready for another dinner at the ASF Lodge.
The veterans and volunteers will meet at the ASF at 9 a.m. Thursday morning for a recovery exercise session that will help them recuperate after Wednesday’s ride and get them ready for an easier ride more local to Windham. Afterwards, the group will have lunch at the ASF Lodge before departing.
Vasile is always excited to run ASF’s WIM events, as the participants show vast improvement over the three days of the activity. “The warriors’ self-efficacy goes way up, they get better from where they start on Tuesday to where they end up on Thursday,” Vasile explained. “At the beginning of the trip a lot of times they question what they can handle, and usually by the end of the trip they’ve proven to themselves that they can handle more than they initially thought. The biking is usually faster and more efficient.”
The cycling will be the star of next week’s event, but what Vasile looks forward to the most is the veteran camaraderie that he gets to witness and be a part of. “Whatever the activity is, it provides the experience and the stories for the veterans, but mealtime is when those experiences and stories get shared, which is a fun part for me.”
The Warriors in Motion program provides participating injured United States servicemen and women with a basic knowledge and practice of wellness and the importance of lifelong healthy living. All WIM programs are goal-oriented and empower the warrior to take charge of their own fitness and wellness.
The ASF’s Warriors in Motion program is funded by donations that were generously given to the organization. Thanks to these donations, the ASF is able to provide bicycle rentals (to those who need them), helmets, water bottles, all meals, hotel rooms, snacks, water, sports drinks, sunscreen, bug spray, ponchos (if necessary) and maps. If you’d like to donate to the Adaptive Sports Foundation’s Warriors in Motion program, or any of the other programs the ASF has to offer, click here.