The Adaptive Sports Foundation’s second Warriors in Motion®(WIM) road cycling program came to an end on Thursday afternoon after three days of riding through Windham and its neighboring towns.
“I made it, I did it, I never quit, I feel so good about myself,” U.S. Navy veteran and longtime WIM Participant Rhonda Liddell said at the conclusion of the event. “I got to spend time will all my best buddies that I’ve known for years around here, and I made a couple of new friends. Thank you ASF for all you do for all of us.”
The event started right from Windham Mountain on Tuesday, as the group of eight veterans and six volunteers started their three-day excursion with a ride to Prattsville Town Park, just about a 10-mile trip. The group arrived at the park and loaded their bikes into the ASF trailer just in time before a heavy thunderstorm rolled through the area.
Wednesday’s ride was an intimidating trek, as the group was tasked to venture 25 miles from the Huckleberry Trail Heads in Elka Park to the Prattsville Town Park, mainly along Route 23A. The first leg of the journey featured rolling hills and narrow sections of roadways before the group emerged from the back roads to Route 23A. A police escort met the warriors at that busy stretch of road and brought them safely to Dolan’s Lake.
After a lunch break at the lake, the participants continued their journey only to be held up by a total of five flat tires after encountering some nails and tacks on the road. When given the option to call it a day and take the ASF shuttle back to Windham or to wait a while and repair the bikes, nobody hesitated to continue the mission of reaching Prattsville. The group stopped at the Ukranian Catholic Church over by where County Route 17 meets Route 23A to repair or replace the deadened tires, then the warriors finished their 25-mile adventure and went back to the Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center for a well-deserved dinner.
The final ride of the event came on Thursday morning, as the Warriors in Motion set off from Windham Mountain to C.D. Lane Park in Maplecrest and back. In total, the warriors covered a distance of just under 50 miles in three days.
“I really enjoyed being up here with the vets and spending time with them,” volunteer Tom Devine said. “A lot of them are repeat visitors to the ASF who work well with themselves and have a lot of camaraderie.”
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.
This was the second and final road cycling program the ASF conducted this year. The ASF’s next Warriors in Motion event will take place next week on July 19-21 and will be its first paddling/kayaking program of the summer. Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the ASF will be able to provide boats, gear, 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.
View the below video to hear testimonials from some of this week’s Warriors in Motion!