Ride 2 Recovery

r2r-pledge Every R2R ride beings, of course, with the pledge of aligence, lead here by Casey Robinson

Park Tool is a supplier to Ride 2 Recovery, a national program that helps injured veterans overcome obstacles they face. Cycling is their core activity, and they partner with the Fitness Challenge Foundation to support Spinning® Recovery labs and outdoor cycling programs at Military and Veteran Administration locations around the USA.

I attended the first leg of the recent Great Lake Challenge ride, a multi-day cycling event.

Ride 2 Recovery was started by veteran and professional racer John Wordin. His format for these rides is very much a stage race system. The exeption, well, everyone wins. The group is well organized and stay together in a disciplined peloton. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be there to offer support.


The queen of the support caravan, Lisa Moro, appears to be also The Great Communicator. She runs a tight ship and makes sure this train runs on time.


Brad Cole of Erik's Bike Shop was part of the support caravan, and help me get my long drink of water ready for the road.

I brought our Bob-support trailers, with spare tubes, spare parts, a mounted PFP-4, and of course plenty of tools. Turns out I had completely the wrong paradim. These guys and gals don’t want me to change the tube, they want a wheel change from Shimano Multi-Tech Support! I did pump up some tires during the ride, but finally ended up donating some of my luggage to the support truck.

r2r-tanguy What a machine! All the latest devices, like downtube shifting, Dura-ace AX brakes, a mounted PFP-4, tubular tires, and a GoPro camera! Who could own such a ride? Well, me.
r2r-go-pro A closer look at the Go-Pro camera and the mount

The GoPro camera offers some interesting view, but it is difficult to turn on and off once you get going. When faced with a problem of any sort, it is of course best to use bicycle parts. Here a linear pull brake acts to replace the finger for starting and stopping the action. The cable runs up to a second set of shifters.

These riders all share a bond, a bond I cannot join in, but with me, we share the bike. I am fasinated by the hand cycles. For some there are legs holders, and the drive train appears upside down. The chain and cassette cogs are in front of the rider and on the left. To get the wheel to drive, the derailleur is upside down. When adjusting things, you stop a bit to think it through.

There are sometimes riders that need even more help, and Ride 2 Recovery is there to respond. Lance Sarget Charles Sketch needs a pilot and also the hand cranks.


Andrew Chaffee (with Shimano support) on the right assiting in a hand cycle repair


Hand cyclists Nathan Hunt and David Wascam ready themselves for the ride

A hand cyclist was at a water stop and asked for service (image below). This cable had been failing for a long long time. Here’s a tip to all riders—DO THIS BEFORE THE RIDE. At big rides like this, and races, the mechanics are there to help, but give us a little time, and we’ll make you happy.

Fitting the bike to the rider is both a science and an art. It is important to listen to the rider, and work with what they bring to the table. At these event, there is often a lot brought to the table.


Chuck Sketch in a specially built machine.


There is a lot going on in this drive, with numerous pulleys and transfers of chain drive


Tyler West in a quick shift cable replacement


Mike McNaughtan assisting Laurent Garrison. If you need a bit of help, they are ready, that's the way Ride 2 Recovery rolls.

r2r-tyler-position Tyler West of Shimano Multi-Services talks to a rider about saddle comfort. He is missing some body mass there from a wound. This is knowledge and experience you don't get on the show room floor.