In April of 2014, my tandem pilot Victor Henderson graciously volunteered to ride with me in the annual Face of America Bicycle Ride from World T.E.A.M. Sports. The ride included 130 injured veterans and 370 able body riders who set out from the pentagon in Arlington, Virginia for the historical city of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Along this 110 mile bicycle ride both Victor and I rolled down city and suburban streets, small back roads and past old country farms. Each rider I believe had a different perspective and experience, for me the ride was a beautiful and exhilarating activity, one that I will try and pursue again next year.
Riding on the back of a tandem bicycle probably would have never crossed my mind when I was sighted, but participating in road tandem cycling after vision loss has become a very therapeutic exercise for me. Racing past buildings, down steep hills and around hair pin turns with the wind in your face, provides a person with a wild rush of adrenaline and sense of freedom. The sense of freedom and ones ability to power themselves forward is what I yearn and look forward to when I take my seat on the back of the tandem. Vision loss, amputation, paralysis, loss of hearing and other injuries/disabilities, can leave an individual feeling discouraged, lost and trapped. Physical fitness, sports and recreation all have contributed to my rehabilitation and recovery, and have helped me regain courage, confidence and independence I thought I had lost.
The Face of America bike ride brings so many great people together to accomplish one amazing endeavor. A special thanks to World T.E.A.M. Sports and all the volunteers who made the ride possible. Please visit the official World T.E.A.M. Sports Face of America website to read more about the ride.