Story and photos by Sgt. William Smith
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Wounded warriors rode their bikes 11.5 miles in an event developed to encourage and show them they can still overcome obstacles, May 21-22 on Fort Carson.
The bike clinic is part of Soldier Ride, which is designed to reintroduce servicemembers to bike riding, something many may not have done since childhood.
The clinic helped many of the participants to relax and meet fellow Soldiers going through similar trials in their lives.
“The biggest obstacle for me is my mobility, and because of my limitations, I have been very frustrated and have felt inept,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Corbett, infantryman, Company B, Warrior Transition Battalion. “Today’s ride made me feel like I can do a lot more than I thought I ever could, even if it was on a modified version of a bike.”
The bikes can be fit to meet the many needs of warriors with various injuries.
“We haven’t had an injury yet that we couldn’t customize a bike to,” said Carlos Garzon, bike technician, Wounded Warrior Project. “The goal is to show them that they still can, that (their injuries are) a challenge that they can overcome.”
Corbett said such programs help to pull people out when they are in a funk due to an injury, that a person can do more than they thought they were capable of, and shine while doing it.
“Four or five of the guys that I rode with use canes, and I just stopped needing to have to use my cane,” Corbett said. “It’s ‘look at what you can do, you just have to apply yourself.’ Sometimes you don’t realize you are not applying yourself.”
Many of the warriors said that they were nervous about being left behind.
“The fear is that you are going to fall; you’re going to drag back and no one is going to help you stay with the group,” said Chap. (Capt.) Darell Harlow-Curtis, WTB. “That is not the case; we stop and wait for everyone as a group. It is not a victory until everyone crosses the line. You finish with that sense of camaraderie, that (feeling of) never leaving a fallen comrade.”
Corbett left the event with a sense of accomplishment.
“I may not be the infantryman I once was, but I know that I can at least push myself harder in the future,” Corbett said.