SAN DIEGO, Calif. (February 10, 2016) – A group of injured service members came together for an intense cycling adventure during Base Camp in San Diego. Base Camp is for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumni who have completed a Soldier Ride® and want to share a more in depth cycling challenge with other wounded veterans. The event unites injured service members from across the country for 3 days to focus on good health, camaraderie, and healing.
The first full day was dedicated to education and preparation for the main ride to follow. The group joined instructors at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Chula Vista to learn practical bike maintenance and practice specific biking drills to improve control and efficiency.
“At the OTC we did a lot of skills training, focusing on our body position and how to better control our bikes. We learned how to maintain speed during a descent and how to cut a clean line through a turn at the bottom, where before I applied the brakes downhill and almost came to a stop before making my turn,” Dave Enderton, WWP Alumnus said. “Now I feel much more confident maintaining speed and still controlling the bike. This really paid off during our rides over the 2 days.”
The twelve person group was an ideal size for the mountainous route. With 30 miles planned for day one followed by 35 miles the next, it was demanding and everyone needed to be up to the challenge.
“The smaller group fostered an environment to get to know each other and develop more genuine friendships,” Dave said. “There were some long challenging climbs and deep descents. Riding up to Mt. Palomar was very memorable for me since it’s a Category 1 climb… and we were the first San Diego Base Camp group where everyone completed the climb!”
During Base Camp injured service members come together not only for advanced cycling training but to move forward with their recovery. “For me adhering to a fitness program is always difficult. Being able to put events on the calendar and have something to train for definitely keeps me motivated,” Dave said. “Learning maintenance has made me a more independent cyclist. The less time my bike spends in the shop, the more time I can spend riding it.”
Physical Health & Wellness (PH&W) is one of 20 free programs and services offered by WWP and is targeted to help reduce stress and combat depression while promoting an overall healthy and active lifestyle. PH&W events are designed to show wounded service members that, regardless of their physical injuries, they can maintain an active lifestyle.