Tag Archives: bicycling

CanAm Riders Reach Maryland July 2

By Richard Rhinehart

July 2, 2014, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – For the injured veterans riding bicycles, recumbent bicycles and hand cycles in the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge, the ride this morning through the historic Gettysburg National Military Park was an emotional experience.

Gettysburg Battlefield
CanAm Veterans’ Challenge riders rode through the historic Gettysburg Battlefield July 2. In April of this year, World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Face of America ride rode many of the same lanes. Photograph by Richard Rhinehart.

Riding south through the solemn monuments and quiet green fields of the hallowed Civil War battlefield following their Gettysburg departure, the participating veterans could relate to the experience of colleagues in battle. One-hundred fifty-one years ago to this day, Union and Confederate troops were fighting the Civil War’s deadliest battle, with an estimated 46,000 to 51,000 casualties during the three days beginning July 1.

Loys Station Covered Bridge.
The reconstructed Loys Station Covered Bridge north of Frederick, Maryland is a familiar sight on Face of America rides. The CanAm team rode through the bridge July 2. Photograph by Richard Rhinehart.

Back on familiar ground south of the battlefield, the riders followed much of the same byways and lanes World T.E.A.M. Sports’ annual Face of America ride travels on its annual journey north to Gettysburg from the Pentagon. Hilly northern Maryland near the historic Loys Station Park with its reconstructed covered bridge provided riders with some elevation gains and losses. Yet, with the smaller team of the CanAm, the experience of these roads was different, more intimate.

The CanAm team will spend the evening in Frederick, Maryland, and ride to Arlington, Virginia on July 3. With Tropical Storm Arthur growing along the eastern Florida coast before moving northeast along the Atlantic coast, forecasters call for increasing showers in the coming days, with potential heavy rain on the afternoon and evening of July 3 in the Washington region. The riders of the CanAm look to arrive in Arlington early Thursday afternoon, and hope that Arthur stays to the east, allowing for a rain-free conclusion on July 4 in the capital.

Canada-U.S. veterans ride hits Wyoming Valley

Cyclists en route from Ottawa to Washington

By Steve Mocarsky, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

American Legion Hall welcome sign.
The American Legion Hall welcomed the team. Photograph by Van Brison.

June 28, Wilkes-Barre, PA — Some are blind. Some have artificial limbs. A few of them still can’t sit with their back to a door because of post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet, they’re on a nearly 800-mile bicycle and hand cycle trek to the nation’s capitol.

And they all stopped in the Wyoming Valley on Friday to have dinner and catch some shut-eye.

Twenty disabled veterans from Denmark, Canada and the United States were joined by about 10 able-bodied vets to participate in the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge — a two-week bike ride that started in Ottawa, Ontario and will culminate in Washington, D.C. on July 4.

Marina Libro receives a helping hand on a climb.
Veteran Marina Libro receives a hand on a steep climb June 28. Photograph by Van Brinson.

World T.E.A.M. Sports, the organization collaborating with Soldier On Canada and Wounded Warriors Canada to put on the 766-mile ride, chose Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre as a dinner stop, and the Hilton Garden Inn in Wilkes-Barre Township for the group’s overnight accommodations as the cyclists pass through this part of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Amanda Salvo, Hilton Garden Inn sales manager, said the hotel is providing discounted stays and breakfasts and free drinks at the bar to the cyclists. “What they’re doing is unbelievable; the amount of endurance and stamina they have to go 700-plus miles is remarkable. We’re very honored and proud they chose to stay with us.”

Read the full story at the Times-Leader web site.

500 mile marker.
The CanAm team passed 500 miles on June 29. Photograph by Van Brinson.

The Inspiration of the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge

By Richard Rhinehart

June 29, 2014, Reading, Pennsylvania – World T.E.A.M. Sports videographer and Pomfret School Junior Austin Galusza provides a short video about the inspiration of the inaugural CanAm Veterans’ Challenge.

With 16 participating injured veterans and nine able-bodied riders from the United States, Canada and Denmark, the Challenge provides inspiration to bicyclists both disabled and able-bodied.

The team reached Reading Pennsylvania the afternoon of June 29. Monday, June 30 is a rest day for the team. On Tuesday, July 1, the riders begin the final stretch of four days riding, beginning with a ride to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and ending with the triumphant arrival at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. July 4.

Ride along with Veteran Jens Sondergaard

By Richard Rhinehart

June 27, 2014, Binghamton, New York – World T.E.A.M. Sports’ CanAm Veterans’ Challenge team is riding south into Pennsylvania today, leaving behind New York state on their nearly 800 mile journey from the Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario to the Capitol of the United States in Washington, D.C.

Jens Sondergaard and his hand cycle.
Jens Sondergaard on his hand cycle June 26. Photograph by Brinson Langley.

Today’s ride to Wilkes-Barre, in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley along the Susquehanna River, is the longest of the two-week CanAm, at 90 miles. There is a 20 percent chance of showers in the afternoon, with a high in the mid-80s, so undoubtedly the riders will prefer to reach their evening hotel in Wilkes-Barre prior to any precipitation.

To experience what the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge offers to the participants, ride along with Danish veteran Jens Sondergaard, who uses his Wolturnus hand cycle. He’s posted a short YouTube video showing the excitement of a fast downhill run with little traffic, other than a fellow team member.

As always, follow the team along on the ride with our live GPS tracking page.

Images from the Ride

By Richard Rhinehart

June 25, Cooperstown, New York – Riders in the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge take a well-deserved day of rest today in Cooperstown, an east-central New York community of nearly 1,900 residents. Located along the Susquehanna River, Cooperstown is best-known as the home for the popular National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

With overcast skies and a strong chance for afternoon thundershowers, it is a good day for the team to relax and enjoy the sights of this historic village established in 1786. Celebrating its’ 75th anniversary this year, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is likely destination. Riders may also visit other attractions and businesses, including the historic downtown.

Tomorrow is the start of three long days of riding, with an 82 mile ride to Binghamton. Friday is the longest daily ride of this year’s CanAm Veterans’ Challenge, a 90 mile ride to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Saturday will be a little shorter, with a 75 mile ride to Pottsville, along the Schuylkill River.

With today’s day of rest, here are a few images from the last few days of riding, offered by several photographers.

Bike on the border.
Participating Colorado veteran Scott Bates’ bicycle near the Canada-United States border on June 22. Photograph courtesy of Scott Bates.

Mayor Joseph Fusco Jr. and Van Brinson.
Rome, New York Mayor Joseph R. Fusco Jr. (left) stands with World T.E.A.M. Sports CEO and President Van Brinson June 23. Photograph courtesy Kristin Clark, Rome Observer.

Dean Peach, Dan Bodden and Marina Libro.
Nova Scotia veteran Dean Peach and Royal Canadian Air Force Sgt Dan Bodden provide assistance to Virginia veteran Marina Libro on June 24. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Michael Cavanaugh, Michael Fuentespina and David Santamore.
Long Island, New York rider Michael Cavanaugh and WInnipeg, Manitoba veteran Michael Fuentespina give a hand to Barre, Vermont veteran David Santamore on June 24, as the team headed to Cooperstown, New York. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Follow the Riders Daily

By Richard Rhinehart

June 20, 2014, Perth, Ontario – Interested in cheering on the riders of the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge as they ride through your community? Or are you an armchair supporter who is following the June 20 through July 4 ride from the comfort of your office or home? Either way, World T.E.A.M. Sports is providing online GPS tracking of the team as they ride the nearly 800 miles from Ottawa to Washington.

Sample SPOT tracking map.
A section of the SPOT GPS tracking map from the first day of tracking the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge.

Through the use of modern satellite technology, World T.E.A.M. Sports has created a shared tracking page for the three SPOT GPS trackers used by riders in the 2014 CanAm Veterans’ Challenge. The tracking page includes regularly updated locations for the three units, keyed to a Google map showing the location.

On the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge tracking site, you can see locations of the three GPS units represented by different colored dots on the map. These locations are automatically updated every ten minutes. The three tracking units show the approximate location of the team, with one unit at the front of the group, another at the end and the third somewhere in the middle.

SPOT Tracking LogoAn additional feature of the provided Google map is the built-in Google Street View feature, which allows the user to drag and drop the little man icon onto the road, and see the terrain the riders are currently passing. It’s almost if you are riding along with the team.

The units will be active each day during the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge, excepting the rest days. Tracking information will remain online from past daily rides for seven days.

Track the riders now!

Member of Parliament to Send off CanAm Riders from Ottawa

By Richard Rhinehart

June 19, 2014, Ottawa, Ontario – The 16 injured veterans from Canada, the United States and Denmark in World T.E.A.M. Sports’ inaugural CanAm Veterans’ Challenge will begin their ride from the steps of Parliament in Ottawa June 20 with a send-off from Canadian Member of Parliament Erin O’Toole.

MP Erin O'Toole
Canadian Member of Parliament Erin O’Toole at a recent session of Parliament in Ottawa. Photograph courtesy MP Erin O’Toole.

A commissioned officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force and a member of the Canadian Forces reserves, O’Toole has served as a fundraiser for several national charities, including the True Patriot Love Foundation. The Foundation honors sacrifices of members of the Canadian Forces, veterans and their families.

Representing Durham, Ontario in Parliament, O’Toole was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012. A member of the Conservative Party caucus, he has served on Canada’s Veterans Affairs Committee.

Friday’s ride will journey 52 miles to the south, ending in the town of Perth, located along the Tay River.

Riders will depart their Ottawa hotel at 8 a.m., with the send-off ceremony at Parliament beginning at 9 a.m. Following remarks by O’Toole and World T.E.A.M. Sports leaders, the riders will begin their nearly 800 mile, two week journey to Washington, D.C.

Cycling Brings Together Veterans

Veterans David Santamore and Harry Carr.
Veterans David Santamore (left) and Harry Carr at the 2014 Face of America ride from World T.E.A.M. Sports. Photograph courtesy Harry Carr.

By Richard Rhinehart

Ottawa, Ontario, June 16, 2014 – For two participants of the inaugural CanAm Veterans’ Challenge, the two week ride to Washington, D.C. from Ottawa beginning this Friday from the steps of Parliament offers an opportunity to build upon a growing friendship with each other, and with other Canadian, American and Danish veterans.

Harry Carr at the Adventure Team Challenge.
At the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge in Colorado, Harry Carr rode his first upright mountain bike in many years. Photograph by Brian Gliba.

Located 80 miles apart by Interstate Highway 89, Air Force veteran Harry Carr, and Marine Corps veteran David Santamore both live in small New England communities. David’s home town, Barre, Vermont, is the larger of the two, with 9,052 residents. To the south, 4,397 residents call New London, New Hampshire home, including Harry. During the 13 days of riding in the CanAm Veterans’ Challenge, Harry and David will ride the equivalent of the distance between their homes three days.

Owing to a service connected neurological condition, Harry has impaired eyesight, and rides a recumbent bicycle. David rides a hand cycle after suffering an above the knee amputation after being hit by a motorist while riding his motorcycle in 2005.

Seeking “to inspire others with life altering situations to rejoin life, fulfill their goals, and beyond,” David sees the CanAm as an opportunity to prepare for upcoming sporting challenges, including a potential invitation to the Sea to Shining Sea cross-country bicycle ride from the non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports.

David Santamore at the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge.
At the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge from World T.E.A.M. Sports, veteran David Santamore rode a tandem mountain bike with the organization’s then-CEO Paul Tyler. Photograph by Brian Gliba.

Harry also is interested in participating in the cross-country journey, tentatively scheduled for 2015. “The CanAm ride is very encouraging to me and I hope to encourage other veterans to participate in cycling events and to continue the esprit de corps among all of our riders,” Harry said.

Having participated in two Face of America rides from World T.E.A.M. Sports, the two veterans also competed in the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge in Colorado. They also participated in the 2013 and 2014 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinics.

“I have not driven a vehicle for more than ten years,” Harry explained. “In addition to the new freedom that recumbent cycling has given me, it has also given me more confidence in myself and I feel a lot healthier.”