Injured Vets bike from Boston to NYC

 By: Melissa Randall

Trading in their fatigues for spandex shorts, more than 150 injured veterans are setting out to do something pretty incredible. They’ll travel 355 miles from Boston to New York City by bicycle in an effort to improve their health.

“It just clears your mind, clears your head and your body,” said Bill Czyzewski a hand cyclist from West Virginia.

It’s called the ‘Ride 2 Recovery’ Minuteman Challenge., and it’s sponsored by United Healthcare. Monday morning the service men and women were seen pedaling through Providence.

“This is the most incredible thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Jay Freitas, a veteran rider from Smithfield.

The bikes give Vets like pack leader Robert Ferrara back their lives. The Cranston man suffered 9 traumatic brain injuries during his 23 year career with the army.

“Freedom. Independence. A new beginning. It doesn’t matter how tired I am. Some days the bike gives me the strength to get out there,” he said.

The ride is done over several days.  On Monday they will cover 78 miles, and during that time the riders form a strong bond.

“We motivate each other; we inspire each other we back each other up,” said Freitas.

Freitas took a bullet to the shoulder while serving in Vietnam. This is the second time he’s participating in the ride. He says the brotherhood doesn’t end when the race is over.

“We’ve had people take someone with them and let them live with them to get through the tough times this is a major support group for our veterans,” he said.

The bicyclists will complete their ride this Friday, but the journey will never truly end.

© WLNE-TV 2014
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