Soldier Ride Across America Challenges Warriors to Exceed Goals

Oct 03, 2018

TEXARCANA, Texas: Riders participating in Soldier Ride Across America will relay more than 3,300 miles from New York City to San Diego, California, to mark the 15th anniversaries of Soldier Ride and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).

The riders are wounded warriors with experience in local Soldier Rides. The local versions of Soldier Ride are usually multi-day events where warriors are fitted to make the ride comfortable, and they are coached along the way.

Soldier Ride Across America riders do have WWP coaching to support their efforts, but how far they take that coaching depends on them. What does it take to go the distance while managing injuries?

"When I train on my own, I ride 20 to 50 miles a day around the Fort Bragg area - and I like the hills, which gives me the extra training," said Shonda Jones, Soldier Ride Across America rider from North Carolina. She added, with a laugh, that no one wants to go with her when she invites them because they know she goes long-distance.

"The week-long training camp for Soldier Ride Across America was a challenge because I didn't know that particular terrain," Shonda said. "It's also difficult because you're riding as a team and you have to learn a different style. When you ride together, you have to get at a certain distance - it was difficult for me."

Soldier Ride Across America riders have one overarching trait: they are supportive of each other through the entire process.

"During the training camp, we all connected pretty quickly, and I have stayed in touch with most of them since," said Jered Holder, Soldier Ride Across America rider from Texas. "We have been communicating by phone, text, and a fitness app that allows us to keep track of our rides and training progress. I've been able to talk with my teammates about riding and equipment tips, and we've all been encouraging and motivating each other to stay dedicated to training for our ride." (PRN)

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