The cyclists on the “Sea to Shining Sea” cross-country ride are fighters.
As cyclists, they’ve had to battle sweltering summertime temperatures and busy traffic on the roads they’ve traveled. As military veterans, they’ve faced the dangers of combat. And while some of them also are disabled, they’re not about to let that slow them down.
“It’s awesome, it’s great,” Bill Lahman of Colorado Springs, Colo., said of the ride so far.
The group of cyclists stopped Friday morning at Todd Barnes’ State Farm insurance office in Newton. They took a break and sat in the shade, and enjoyed water, Gatorade and fruit.
The riders left San Francisco in May and will reach Virginia Beach in late July. About 18 riders are in the group, many of whom were injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In total, the bikers will travel 3,700 miles in 68 days.
Lahman was serving as the “eyes” for Ivan Castro, who is from Fort Bragg, N.C., and was blinded in Iraq. They rode together on a tandem bike and were making good time Friday morning, among the first to arrive at Barnes’ insurance office.
Lahman, a civilian, said this ride is part of Castro’s rehab, and he was honored to ride along with Castro.
The riders now are more than halfway through their journey and thanked Barnes for providing a place for them to relax during their stop in Newton.
“It’s fun,” Barnes told the riders. “We’re excited to see you guys.”
For more information about the riders, visit www.s2ssbikeride.org.