This week I had the incredible opportunity to spend a few days mountain biking in east Texas with some of the most important people of my generation. One of these people was the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. President Bush was hosting the Warrior 100k Mountain Bike ride at Lajitas Golf Resort near Big Bend National Park. The other VIPs were wounded warriors from OIF and OEF.
The event was held in honor of the warriors that suffered severe injuries during the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. 14 Wounded Warriors, myself included, were treated like kings, and one queen, while we dined on fantastic food, chatted it up with the former President, joked with Lance Armstrong, and were entertained by the mystic tricks of David Blaine.
The days were not so glorious, however. President Bush is a monster on the mountain bike and proved it by leading us through dry, rocky, hilly, desert at a breakneck speed. 62 miles over the course of three days is easy on a road bike, but on a mountain bike through that terrain it is enough to make the strongest feel like his heart is just little smaller. I did ride the whole thing, escaping with only some minor scrapes and bruises, inspired the entire ride by watching my fellow Wounded Warrior comrades. Some missing limbs or inflicted with Terminal Brain Injury from an IED, we all overcame injury to complete the Warrior 100K, one of the most excruciating, yet exhilerating and well put together events I have had the opportunity to be a part of in the years since my injury.
As I sit here letting my muscles recover, I want to thank everyone that make The W100K happen. As part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Social Enterprise Initiative, Wounded Warrior Project, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Ride2Recovery, and World T.E.A.M. Sports, along with Lajitas Golf Resort gave us warriors an opportunity of a lifetime, and one that we will never forget. Thank you.
To read more about the ride, the warriors, and the sponsors click here.