A three-day cycling event for 45 injured veterans will kick off Friday with a 15-mile ride beginning and ending at Wilson Ranch Park.
The event, dubbed Soldier Ride by organizer Wounded Warrior Project, will continue Saturday with a 25-mile ride from Peyton High School to Falcon Elementary School.
Organizers note that the event is a ride, not a race.
Shana Gibbs, a Wounded Warrior Project employee who helps organize Soldier Ride events, said "We go as fast as the slowest rider. This is not an endurance race. We're not out there to beat one another. We're there to engage each other and truly work through physical, mental and emotional well-being on bikes."
This year Soldier Ride events will take place in 16 U.S. cities and one German city. Next year, the ride will take place in 20 cities.
This is the first year that a Soldier Ride has occurred in Colorado Springs. The city was added to roster because Wounded Warrior Project opened an office here in November, Gibbs said.
On Thursday, participants in the ride were fitted with adaptive hand-cycles, trikes and bikes, which are theirs to borrow for the event.
Wounded Warrior Project hosts Soldier Ride events at no charge to participants to spur wounded post-9/11 veterans toward healthy lifestyles and to introduce them to the nearly 20 programs the charity offers.
"We're letting warriors know that resources are out there for them," Gibbs said.
Wounded Warrior Project, a Florida-based military nonprofit, was founded in 2003 in Roanoke, Va. It serves veterans who incurred service-connected wounds, injuries and illnesses on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as their family members.
Its local office is located at 1 S. Nevada Ave., Suite 205.
Soldier Ride dates to 2004, when a civilian cycled across the country in support of the charity. The next year, the man made the journey again, accompanied by several combat-wounded Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.
For more information on Wounded Warrior Project and Soldier Ride, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.