2010-07-03 / News

Sea to Shining Sea bike riders to cross Licking County July 12

HEBRON – A team of exceptional athletes, many of whom are wounded Iraq and Afghanistan veterans representing all military branches, will be traveling across Ohio July 9 -14, as a part of World T.E.A.M. Sports’ inaugural bike trek across America called Sea to Shining Sea.

The goal of Sea to Shining Sea is to honor the courage of our service men and women, recognize the strength of the American spirit and challenge perceptions of how we view athletes. The ride kicked off in San Francisco on May 22 and will conclude in Virginia Beach on July 24.

Spanning 63 days and some 4,000 miles, the cyclists are testing their physical limits and inspiring people, disabled or not, to live active and enriched lives. On their way to Ohio, the group has cycled through deserts, mountain passes and historical landmarks providing dramatic proof that disabled Americans can lead productive lives and accomplish feats most people only dream about. Several riders have specially-designed bikes that make it possible for them to participate.

The riders will travel through Licking County along historic National Road (US 40) on Monday, July 12. After departing from Columbus, riders will have their first water stop in Etna at the Etna United Methodist Church, lunch will be served in Jacksontown at the Licking Township Fire Company and a final water stop in Hopewell before they leave Licking County. The day’s journey will end with a celebration in Cambridge.

Community members are invited to cheer the riders on as their make their way through Licking County.

Among the supporters joining the group will be Army Brig. Gen. Arnold N. Gordon-Bray, retired Marine Corps Gen. Robert Magnus, and Ambassador Paul Bremer, who oversaw the reconstruction of Iraq from May 2003 to June 2004. Ohio native Marc Esposito, a Combat Controller in Air Force Special Operations, is among the wounded riders.

State Farm is sponsoring the Sea to Shining Sea ride across America as a way to show support for service men and women and their commitment to being there for our country. In addition to funding, State Farm agents across the country will be there for all 63 days of the Sea to Shining Sea ride, serving as community coordinators -- providing local information, helping with logistics and route planning, and rallying folks to turn out to celebrate the riders along the way.

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