Vets ride bikes from Jax To Tampa

Wounded Warriors To Make 350-Mile Journey In 6-Day Span

Wounded warriors ride bikes from Jacksonville to Tampa as part of the Ride 2 Recovery.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's kickstands up for a couple hundred veterans wounded at war who are riding bikes from Jacksonville to Tampa as part of their road to recovery.

The men and women share a bond from the battlefield. They are veterans, many of them wounded at war.

"The reason I'm riding a recumbent (bicycle) is I was, early in my career, I hurt my back rappelling out of a helicopter," local veteran Craig Greenhill said.

Some of the soldiers are amputees. Others have traumatic brain injuries and have lost the ability to maintain balance.

Despite those challenges, they'll make the 350-mile ride in six days.

"Your therapists have told you that you can't ride, but we can make a bike for you," bike engineer Scott Moro said of what he tells wounded veterans.

Ride 2 Recovery, a military nonprofit organization, creates custom bikes for wounded warriors. It sponsors the bike rides around the country.

"Some of these guys, there's not a lot of hope, so it's an outlet for them," Moro said.

Nathan Hunt lost both his legs in Baghdad. He'll use his arms to peddle.

"It's the only thing I have left, so everything I do in day-to-day activities is dealing with arm power," Hunt said.

Custom bikes like Hunt's "hand cycle" can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $25,000, at no cost to the veterans.

Biking gives those wounded at war a taste of freedom, and for all the vets involved, it's a chance to bond.

"It allows people to share stories with people that know what's happened, versus trying to tell a civilian or stranger," Hunt said.

Copyright 2011 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.