Memorial Day is considered by many as the opening day of summer and the start of many mountain bike trips and adventures. But let us not forget that this holiday weekend exists for the military service men and women who died while in battle. It is also a significant opportunity to thank all those who have served in the military, specially those who have been injured while in service.
Road or mountain, getting our wounded veterans on bikes on Memorial Day and any day is a worthy cause.
Now more than ever, the cause to give back to our veterans is a worthy undertaking. WTB has taken them to the Weir Ranch to experience the freedom of playing like a kid in the woods once again. And Trek has been taking them on a road and mtb adventure just to experience the joy of pedaling despite any adversity.
In that vein, there is a special mountain bike event that celebrates the lives and the resilience of those who served and/or have been injured in the global war on terror, focused in Iraq and Afghanistan. The event is called the Warrior 100K mountain bike ride and it takes place May 23-25, 2013, near Waco, Texas.
Video: 2012 W100K Highlights
The George W. Bush Institute organizes the event and George W. himself rides with the participants during the event. This year, 14 warriors will join President Bush on the three-day ride at Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas next week. They include the athletes listed below.
Many of the athletes have lost limbs from their injuries sustained in the battlefield. But they persevere and continue to live life to the fullest and enjoy the freedom they helped provide.
This year’s line-up
- Major James C. Anderson, Jr., USA, from San Antonio, TX
- Sergeant First Class Manuel A. Colón, USA from Orlando, FL
- Sergeant First Class Thomas W. Costello, USA, from Shelby, NC
- Staff Sergeant Matthew P. DeWitt, USA, Ret. from Weare, NH
- First Sergeant Robert A. Ferrara, USA, Ret. from San Antonio, TX
- Major John Dana Greer, USA, Ret., from Savannah, GA
- Lieutenant Colonel David Johnson, USA
- Staff Sergeant Joshua M. Krueger, USMC, Ret. from Hubertus, WI
- Staff Sergeant Michael D. Morabito, USA, Ret., from Converse, TX
- Staff Sergeant Jeffrey R. Palenske, USA from Chicago, IL
- Master Sergeant Roque Rodriguez-Urena, USAF Ret., from Charleston, SC
- Staff Sergeant Omar R. Romney, USA, Ret., from Clarksville, TN
- Specialist José E. Santiago, USA from Centennial, CO
- Major Kent G. Solheim, USA from Raeford, NC;
Full rider Bios are available at http://www.bushcenter.org/w100k/2013-w100k-warriors
For more information visit http://www.bushcenter.org/military-service-initiative/w100k
Trek Bikes has been quietly sponsoring this event without any publicity or announcement whatsover. But we noticed the Trek Logo on the W100k site and we hunted down Trek’s Eric Bjorling for confirmation. They indeed supply a bike for every athlete participating in this event and they work with each one to outfit the bike with special controls to operate the bike. It is not uncommon that some athletes are missing limbs from injuries suffered in combat. So the bikes need to be customized for the rider. And of course, the riders get to keep the bikes.
This year, the event was right in time for the Trek Fuel 29er launch so the Warriors 100k riders got the hottest bikes in the market. The Fuel 26er has been around a while and it is fully optimized with Fox DRCV suspension front and rear. So this 29er version in the Fuel EX7 is much anticipated and will help the athletes complete this three day event.