WINDHAM, N.Y. – The Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) wrapped up its second of two Warriors in Motion (WIM) road cycling events on Thursday afternoon after surpassing 50 miles over the three-day event.
“This was a fantastic three days,” ASF volunteer Peter Paluch said. “To meet some veterans again that I’ve known a number of years from volunteering in this program, it’s a great group. It’s nice to be out and I think it’s one of those things that are really rewarding for someone who didn’t have an opportunity to be involved in the armed forces, and it’s one way we can help.”
Four retired U.S. Military veterans and several volunteers met at the ASF’s Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center on Tuesday afternoon to get ready for three days of biking. The veterans were fitted for their bikes and safety equipment and sat down for lunch before their first ride, a 12.5-mile trek from the Windham Mountain parking lot to CD Lane Park in Maplecrest and back. This initial trip featured a few daunting hills, which proved to be a great test for Wednesday’s ride. The veterans handled the inclines with ease as they learned how to properly use their e-bikes to help them on uphill sections. After the afternoon ride, the warriors checked into their hotels before returning to the ASF Lodge for dinner.
Wednesday’s journey once again began at the Windham Mountain parking lot, as the group got ready to ride to Colgate Lake. Riding from Windham to Colgate Lake isn’t an easy task, as there are several steep inclines and some uneven terrain on the way to the popular water feature. The warriors and volunteers headed into Hensonville, then took a turn onto Route 296 to face the rolling hills.
Not only did the WIM group make it to Colgate Lake, but they made it there quickly, taking only an hour and a half to reach the destination. After stretching out and enjoying a lakeside lunch, the warriors made the trek back to Windham via Maplecrest Road and the corkscrew hill the route features. In total, Wednesday’s journey covered 25.8 miles with an 1,568-foot elevation climb. The group returned to ASF to participate in a post-ride stretch before going to their hotels to decompress before another dinner at ASF.
The veterans and volunteers met at ASF on Thursday morning ready for their final ride, a 15-mile trip from Dolan’s Lake in Hunter to the Prattsville Park along Route 23A. The ASF shuttle bus took the group back to ASF after their unseasonably brisk morning journey for lunch before the warriors departed. In total, this week’s WIM group traveled a total of 54 miles and climbed a total of 3,475 vertical feet.
“I loved every minute of this,” warrior Luciano Yulfo said. “It was challenging, especially the last day, but I made it.”
The WIM 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 Warriors in Motion programs are goal oriented and empower the warrior to take charge of their own fitness and wellness.
The ASF will be switching out it’s road bikes for heavier equipment, as the next Warriors in Motion event will take its participants mountain biking on June 6-8. Thanks to generous donations given to the organization, the Adaptive Sports Foundation will be 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, both digital and paper copies.
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.