'Honor Ride Tampa' circles downtown for a good cause - WFLA News Channel 8

'Honor Ride Tampa' circles downtown for a good cause

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Riders lined up early Saturday morning in Downtown Tampa. Riders lined up early Saturday morning in Downtown Tampa.
Proceeds from Saturday's Honor Ride will benefit Ride-2-Recovery. Proceeds from Saturday's Honor Ride will benefit Ride-2-Recovery.
The start and finish line for Saturday's 'Honor Ride Tampa.' The start and finish line for Saturday's 'Honor Ride Tampa.'
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Veterans and Wounded Warriors deal with adjusting to civilian life in a variety of ways once they return home after serving their country.

For some cycling plays a big role in their mental and physical rehabilitation. On Saturday those heroes lined up Downtown for ‘Honor Ride Tampa.’

The event certainly displayed the signs of a tough competition but the ride was for fun and to raise money and awareness for the Ride-2-Recovery foundation.

Rachel Spivey took part in Saturday’s ride.

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“My sister was in the military. She’s out now, but her husband is currently overseas,” Spivey said. “So we see of lot of veterans who come back, who really need the support to get them back into society. We just like to get out and have a good time with them.

For added incentive Saturday’s riders received a pep talk from Admiral William McRaven – the 2011 runner-up for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. McRaven played a role in organizing the special operations raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.

“I’ve been a SEAL for almost 37 years,” McRaven explained. “Every morning you get up and you have a pretty regimented routine of physical fitness. When you’re young that seems pretty easy but as you get a little more advanced in age, you find some good alternatives and frankly the bicycle is a great alternative.”

Navy veteran Anthony Ribera broke his back in eight places 5 ½ years ago when his motorcycle was hit by a car. He was one of Saturday’s riders and called the ride ‘Awesome.’

“It’s my way of giving back to the other guys,” Ribera added. “It’s also a way for me to improve myself as a vet and as a disabled vet it helps me improve my well-being.”

When it comes to well-being, Army vet Rick Cicero could teach a course in the subject. ‘Honor Ride Tampa’s 24-mile portion was the furthest Cicero’s traveled since he suffered injuries while serving in Afghanistan.

Cicero and his unit were on foot patrol when an Individual Explosive Device went off. He currently works at a VA Hospital testing out prosthetic arms and legs.

“Actually the leg that I’m riding on is a leg that’s built out of spare parts,” Cicero explained. “It’s the most feasible. It’s only set up to ride in bike competition compared to very high level; it’s a wonderful leg that I walk on that doesn’t function in cycling.”

Cicero’s motto is – ‘An ounce of effort equals a pound of results.’

That certainly applied to everyone who made the effort Saturday at ‘Honor Ride Tampa.’ And more importantly it was all for a good cause.

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