Local News

Custom bikes get wounded warriors on the road

Posted May 30, 2011 11:27 a.m. EDT
Updated May 30, 2011 6:39 p.m. EDT

— An injury in battle or an accident in training can leave members of the military – used to physical challenges from push-ups to parachute drops – with limited mobility even after their rehabilitation is complete.

To help them regain their independence, the nonprofit American Business Clubs (AMBUCS) raises money so those veterans can be fit for custom bicycles. "AmTrykes" can be operated by hand or foot and can be adjusted to suit riders of various sizes and abilities.

Jason Howard, a former Army captain paralyzed in a dive, has an AmTryke that he peddles with a hand crank.

"It's definitely another level of independence," he said. "Just the fact that you can get out and do something on your own and be a part of something like that definitely feels great."

After a year on the bike, Howard was able to complete a marathon.

Now, he is working with AMBUCS to raise awareness about the good the bikes can do and the money needed to donate bikes to other injured vets. Each bike can cost between $1,000 and $1,500.

The group is planning weekend of athletic fundraising events Nov. 6 in Fayetteville, and all money raised will benefit wounded veterans and programs like the AmTrykes. Events include a charity ride, 5K race and walk, and rugby and golf tournaments.