COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A group of adventurous military veterans are making history as the first to bike across the country on the Great American Rail Trail.
They made a stop at the Ohio Statehouse Friday morning as they ride the 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail, which cuts diagonally across the Buckeye state.
“Always wanted to ride across the country, that was a high school dream of mine,” said U.S. Navy veteran Alan Garrigus.
After serving 30 years in the Navy, Alan and his wife Allison felt inspired to apply for Warrior Expeditions and start to train for the cross-country ride one pedal at a time.
“We’re just going to play Lewis and Clark really for this year. It was cancelled last year due to covid, but it gave me a year worth of training and to learn more about the nuisances of cycling,” said U.S. Navy veteran Allison Garrigus.
As a nurse who served 21 years in the Navy, Allison said Warrior Expeditions aims to encourage veterans to spend time outdoors for therapeutic recreation trauma recovery. “So, I love the idea that I’m paving the way for them for an opportunity next year and for years to come,” said Allison.
“Honestly, you know I suffer from PTSD, and I wanted to get the benefits of being outdoors,” said Alan. The veterans set off on their journey from the U.S. Capital and will travel over 3,700 miles through 12 states before finishing in La Push, Washington in August.
“You’re actually testing yourself everyday through patience, skill, survivability. It’s kind of the same stuff you go through in the military,” said Alan. “I’m working through you know, some of my personal issues on the trail, others do the same thing, and it seems to work exceptionally well,” he added.
To learn more about the Warrior Bike program, visit: https://warriorexpeditions.org/