Veterans take bike challenge down healing road - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Veterans take bike challenge down healing road

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Veterans take part in the Ride 2 Recovery near the Red Rock Conservation Area on Wednesday, Jan. 29. (FOX5) Veterans take part in the Ride 2 Recovery near the Red Rock Conservation Area on Wednesday, Jan. 29. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Heroes from across the county are challenging themselves in Las Vegas, taking part in a therapeutic mountain bike ride designed to lift spirits and improve physical and emotional wellbeing.

It's called Ride 2 Recovery, and the 60 participating veterans say it helps ease the pain of the mental and physical wounds that came with years of serving their country.

Navigating the terrain at the Red Rock Conservation Area is difficult enough on two wheels. It's even more challenging for Alison Green.

"The hardest part is getting over the fear," she said.

Green said the landscape floods her mind with memories of her time serving in Iraq. She returned home with a severely injured foot and unbearable self-doubt and depression.

"I couldn't do the things I used to anymore, and they got me a bicycle and said, ‘You can do more than you used to,'" Green said.

Other riders are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"One major component is the camaraderie of cyclists - it replicates that of a military unit," said retired Army Lt. Colonel David Haines.

A big part of the ride is restoring the veterans' self-confidence.

"I learned in the military it's all about the way you think. If you think you can't, you can't. My outlook totally changed. Anything is possible now," Green said.

Wednesday marked the third time Ride 2 Recovery has held a mountain bike challenge in Las Vegas. Most challenges are on paved roads, making this one particularly challenging.

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