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Our itinerary for the day:

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The R2R techs setting up an awesome Raleigh Revenio for me:

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And I am ready to roll! To quote one of the riders, “if it ain’t rainin’, we ain’t trainin’!”

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One of the great things about Ride2Recovery is that it’s a group ride. You stay with your group, faster riders push slower riders, SAG support is right behind to swap out a wheel if you flat!

I chose to start with the slower of the two groups because I wanted to talk to the other riders. Everyone had amazing stories, but what I witnessed: the camaraderie, the way that getting on a bike (a bike that fits with full tires) makes troubles disappear? This is a very valuable program helping heroes heal.

As we rolled with the gentle hills (Strava gives me 1780 feet of elevation gain for the whole day) we saw lots of critters (that I was not going to attempt to photograph while rolling with a peloton): four horses that raced us to the end of their paddock, many dogs racing us in their yards, a mama goat nursing her kids. I saw my first armadillo – as road kill that I only narrowly missed.

Our first school stop. Of course it’s raining, but the kids were excited to meet the veterans!

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Lunch at our second school – in the drama classroom. Flashbacks!!!

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That flag that is now tucked in a helmet was a gift from a student!

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The sun came out after lunch. The pavement had a lot of cracks. I narrowly missed one, but heard a rider behind me go down. Well, over the handlebars. Separated shoulder.

Our last stop was at Rio Vista ISD. As elsewhere in the day, the entire school system, K-12, is contained in one building.

Snacks for us:

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The middle school band rocked, but the highlight of the day was the elementary school choir singing and signing “God Bless America”!

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We rode the last 13 or so miles as a single swift group in the sunshine. I’ve never heard “Yee-haw!” used unironically so many times in one day.

A great day with great men and women who have served our nation.

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You can support this cause and ride with this group Saturday at the Honor Ride in Fort Worth, or with other healing heroes. There are rides coming up on either side of the Amgen Tour of California, and a new ride in Chicago in June.

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