This week I was assigned to cover part of the annual Ride 2 Recovery bike ride from San Antonio to Arlington.
This is a unique ride where most of the participants are wounded veterans, many suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. They overcome their physical and psychological challenges to ride their bicycles for 350 miles over six days.
I saw a small glimpse of the race as they stopped in San Marcos at the end of the first day.
Some of the wounded warriors were amputees, double amputees or even triple amputees. Some were blind and several needed assistance along the way.
One group that stood out to me is in the photo at the top of the page. The bike on the left is called the “Chuckwagon,” a custom bike named after Chuck, who sits on the back of the bike and hand pedals. In front is the founder of Ride 2 Recovery, John Wordin.
Another amazing thing about the Ride 2 Recovery is the support that follows. A group of 3 ladies was particularly enthusiastic. Debbie McLauchlin, Patti Deslauriers and Darla Hillman drove from the Galveston area to show their support. They didn’t know any of the soldiers personally, they just came to cheer them on.
The hardest part about this assignment was to be sensitive to the challenges of the soldiers. I was told during the shoot that many of them had severe PTSD and I was not to speak to them directly. I had to gather names and other information from a staff member. That made it difficult to guarantee correct spellings of names. I prefer to confirm information with the person I’m photographing. That being said, this program is amazing in the ways that it’s helping these men and women. I was glad to have the opportunity to document a small part of it.
The Statesman’s Patrick George wrote a great article about the ride here.