Wounded Warrior Project builds custom-made cycles for injured veterans

AVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) - - Custom-made cycles were built by hand for injured veterans in Aventura, Wednesday morning, just in time for the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride.

Volunteers and workers of the Wounded Warrior Project spent their morning making sure each cycle was just right for each wounded warrior who will be riding in the Soldier Ride, beginning Thursday morning, in Miami.

“Yeah, I didn’t have to do any adjustments, which is actually kind of amazing,” said Air Force Senior Airman Kyle Cook, who will be participating in the ride.

Cook will be riding a handcycle for the Soldier Ride. His leg was amputated above the knee after a motorcycle accident.

He is one of about 30 wounded warriors gearing up for the ride, which is described as a chance to “heal the mind and body.”

“Riding, it’s peaceful for me, so I enjoy it a lot,” explained Cook.

“I’m kind of nervous as to how far I’m going to make it before I really start feeling the anxiety or pain of struggling through a cycle, but hopefully this recumbent bike they’ve given me will make it a lot smoother,” said Iraq veteran Jason Trefil.

Recumbent bikes are best suited for people with back or neck injuries or for people who suffer from an injury that has impacted their balance.

The ride is about teamwork and about breaking boundaries, both mentally and physically, despite their injuries.

“It’s about camaraderie, it’s about regrouping, and it’s about seeing what your potential is,” said Soldier Ride co-founder Nick Kraus.

“You meet so many great people here,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Sebastiana Lopez Arellano. “This is how you keep getting invited to different events and know what’s really out there and what you’re capable of doing. They don’t focus on your inabilities but your abilities.”

Those of the Soldier Ride and the Wounded Warrior Project have witnessed firsthand just what kind of impact these custom-made bikes can have on the wounded soldiers.

The ride will be broken up between three days, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, starting in Miami and ending in Key West.

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