Houston -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride will return to Houston on March 5 for a three-day rehabilitative cycling event. Soldier Ride brings injured service members from across the country together for a long weekend focused on physical health and wellness, camaraderie, and healing.
The event begins on March 5 with a bike fitting where injured service members are fit with adaptive equipment. That evening the public can join service members and Wounded Warrior Project staff at Space Center Theatre for a viewing of the film “Welcome to Soldier Ride” that documents how this inspirational ride began. Soldier Ride began as a one-man affair, when Chris Carney, working as a bartender at The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, NY, decided he wanted to do something to help returning veterans. He biked across the country in 2004, raising funds for Wounded Warrior Project. Watch his journey, and see how the cycling event transformed from an idea in a bar to a WWP program that has helped thousands of returning veterans regain their physical health & wellness.
The next day kicks off with a 15-mile ride starting at NASA Johnson Space Center and will end at the Gilruth Center followed by a tour of Johnson Space Center. Saturday’s 17-mile ride will take place at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, followed by kayaking and a visit to the Kemah Boardwalk.
During the ride, Wounded Warrior Project provides state-of-the-art cycling equipment to injured service members at no cost, including adaptive hand cycles, trikes, and bicycles to accommodate various injuries and disabilities, as well as upright road bikes for riders not requiring adaptive equipment.
Michael Matthews, a medically retired Army staff sergeant, participated in Soldier Ride Houston in 2014. "Usually by the second or third day, everybody has this attitude like they've been knowing each other for years," he said. The veterans may start out as strangers, he said, but pretty soon "everybody's having a great time, they're encouraging each other and just doing a lot of positive things with each other."
Soldier Ride staff carefully plan each route and engage the local community and law enforcement for support.
Soldier Ride is supported across the country by U-HAUL, a founding partner of Soldier Ride, and TREK, both proud supporters of WWP.