OCEANSIDE — Two hundred cyclists participated in the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride to show their support for troops on March 26.
Bike riders selected from a 10-mile, 25-mile or 50-mile loop course. All routes began and ended at a giant 40-foot American Flag that was raised at the NCTD Transit Center.
From the NCTD Transit Center on Tremont Street cyclists rode north along The Strand, to the harbor and through Camp Pendleton.
Twenty-five wounded warriors from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom took part in the ride. The bike challenge was planned to help wounded troops who returned from war achieve something big, Angela Hemmen, coordinator of soldier ride events, said. The hope is that cycling will be a positive “new norm” for troops, Hemmen added.
The annual Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride has taken place for several years.
“This is the first time we invited the community to participate,” Hemmen said.
Community members turned out in big numbers to show their support. “I’m here to support the Wounded Warrior Project,” Tu Tran, of Carlsbad, said. “To see the individuals and see their spirit is inspiration.”
“The weather is perfect,” Tran added. “The route has a good incline and was very enjoyable.”
The first riders to finish the 25-mile ride came in at 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Cyclists returned to a gourmet lunch cooked by David Biber and his team from Two Guys Grilling.
Biber has been cooking since he was 5 years old and opened Two Guys Grilling on-site chef services in 1999. “For my eighth birthday I asked for a barbeque grill,” Biber said. “I was not a normal child.”
Biber is on the San Diego Army Advisory Council, Southern California Army Advisory Council and United States Army Advisory Council.
Biber said he holds a big spot in his heart for U.S. troops. Biber and his company cook for military nonprofit events once to twice a month and give them a “serious discount” on services.
“Friends of mine who served gave far more than I can give,” Biber said.