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Matt DeWitt



Joining the U.S. Army in 1998, Matt DeWitt could never have imagined what would happen five years later.  As a Calvary Scout, Matt was part of the initial invasion into Iraq taking Saddam Hussein’s palaces.  Next he was patrolling in Khalidiyah  when a rocket propelled grenade changed his life forever. Matt lost both of his arms below the elbow in 2003.

After six months at Walter Reed Medical Center, Matt headed home to New Hampshire to figure out what to do next.

He did have one objective: to ride a mountain bike again.  A former competitive mountain biker, Matt had won his share of races in high school. But, this was going to be a different ballgame.

Fast forward to November 2011.  After an introduction to John Wordin and Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) via Northeast Passage, Matt set off for the R2R Las Vegas Veterans Day Honor Ride.  He thought the 40-mile ride on a road bike would be an easier way to get back into cycling.

“Getting on this road bike after riding mountain bikes for so long, I thought it was great!” said Matt.  “I went out like a rocket but coming back wasn’t so easy.  Scotty (Moro) pushed me part of the way back.  No one has pushed me since.

“Shifting and riding in the pack were the most challenging aspects of getting back into cycling again,” he said.  “But this year is much better.”

With electronic shifting and braking modifications to his bicycle, Matt has continued training and rode the 333-mile R2R Minuteman Challenge in September 2012. He topped that by completing Newton’s Revenge (mountain) Bicycle Hill Climb on Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the highest peak in New England.  He has since “knocked out a couple of centuries with plenty of hills added in.”

Now, Matt has set his sights on the Leadveille 100 – a 100-mile moutain bike event across the high-altitude, extreme terrain of the Colorado Rockies.  He will train on the mountains of New Hampshire and then join others on the R2R team a week prior to the race to acclimate to the altitude and test out the race course.

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The Honor Rides Series raises awareness and is the funding arm for Ride 2 Recovery and gives the public the opportunity to ride with healing heroes and enlisted military on a non-competitive, fun ride. Close to 20 Honor Rides will take place throughout the year, with varying distances from 10 to 100 miles. All funds raised through the Honor Ride Series support Project Hero programs throughout the US.

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Ride 2 Recovery’s Project HERO (Healing Exercise Rehabilitation Opportunity) Provides training and support for community based programs. Begun in November 2010 at Bethesda Naval Medical Center (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center), Project HERO has proven the effectiveness of group riding in the rehabilitation and recovery of injured servicemembers.

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January 2016 - USA

Vegas Mountain Bike Ride 2016

Jan. 31 - Feb. 3, 2016 - Las Vegas, Nevada

2016 Women's Initiative Summer

June 13 - 17, 2016 - Navasota, TX

2016 Women Initiative Fall

November 7 - 11, 2016 - Navasota, TX

Special Events are meant to provide a rehabilitative experience for Healing Heroes that is similar to Ride 2 Recovery’s Challenge Series but in a unique location with different and distinctive activities. Generally, these events require advanced fitness and abilities compared to the Challenge Series.

Latest News

Bicycles stolen from injured veterans

Tampa Police are still looking for two expensive bicycles stolen early Sunday morning (July 31) belonging to Project HERO Central Florida, a veteran's organization that helps wounded service men and women recover from their combat injuries. These bikes are specially adapted to the needs of the veterans who ride them and cost more than $2,500 each. While it may seem like just a bicycle to most, it's a way of life for these healing heroes and a critical piece in their recovery.

Cyclist Stories

Delvin McMillian

Delvin McMillian had one question for the Ride 2 Recovery team, “how can I join the ride?” UnitedHealthcare employee, Walter Chwalik, told Delvin about Ride 2 Recovery and showed pictures from his ride in Florida. Our question at R2R was “how can we make a bike that will allow Delvin to ride independently?