Double amputee passes through Damascus on cross country bike rid - WFLA News Channel 8

Double amputee passes through Damascus on cross country bike ride

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Thirteen hundred miles behind him, 4,000 ahead of him, and no legs beneath him- it seems impossible but double amputee and Marine veteran Rob Jones is making his way from Maine to California on a bicycle.

Tuesday his journey took him through Damascus, Va.

Jones says the goal of his journey is to raise money for other veterans. So far he's raised $45,000.

"The only limitations you have are what you put on yourself and he epitomizes that," Roger Payne said. Payne coached Jones in rowing in the 2012 Paralympics. Payne is from Charlottesville and when Jones told him he'd be biking through Virginia, Payne decided to join him.

The start of Rob Jones' journey takes us back to 2010, Jones worked as a combat engineer in Afghanistan.  His job- to find explosives.

"In July of 2010 I was hit by an IED when I was trying to find it," Jones said.

In that moment Jones became a double amputee.

He said it  took about 10 months to learn to ride a bike again.

I was in recovery for about a year and a half, and when I was there I was learning how to ride a bike and I wanted to do some kind of an adventure after I was done," Jones said.

"He's like one of two double amputees in the world that rides a regular bike," Payne said. "I mean he's like embrace life. That's what I've learned embrace life."

After passing through Damascus Jones and his crew will make their way here to Hayters Gap, which Jones said will be one of the toughest parts of his journey. With a 17 degree incline, and nearly four miles uphill it's classified as a level two climb out of five levels of difficulty, one being the most difficult.

"Tthe biggest challenge is going to be not having a knee, because the main way you use a bike is with your quad muscles so I can't do that. I have to use all glut muscles so I can't stand up to ride a bike," Jones said.

"It's beyond inspiring for me. Any biker who's out there you need to get a ride with him sometime because it's like you'll never complain about anything again," Payne said.

"There are definitely times I get annoyed with the hills and the wind and being cold and have take a break and let my jets cool down a little bit, but I never think about stopping for good," Jones said.

With a determination that's rare to find, Jones is inspiring many with each mile.

He expects to reach his final stop in San Diego by spring.

You can find out more about his journey, donate and track him live.

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