Members of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Racing Team are visiting Redstone this week in preparation for the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open, slated Saturday and Sunday in Cummings Research Park.
The 16 athletes are staying on post and planning to do some training here. PVA is a veterans service organization out of Washington, D.C.
The athletes compete on nontraditional bikes. About half the team members are paralyzed veterans. The other half have had traumatic brain injury, amputations or illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. Two of these 16 athletes are women.
“We’re eager to get back to some sense of normalcy in competitive cycling,” Jody Shiflett, director of racing and fitness for Paralyzed Veterans of America, said. “And we’re optimistic that we can do so and be successful. And part of that success would be keeping our team safe all the way back home.”
They come from Hawaii, California, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, South Carolina, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Illinois, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Alabama.
“This is a very important event, especially for the time of year. It’s officially kicking off our season,” Shiflett said.
Leaders of the Huntsville/Madison County community were excited to announce that U.S. Paralympics Cycling is visiting Huntsville this weekend, as it begins its national calendar in preparation for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo this summer. They are hosting one of four domestic cycling events, the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open, the second opportunity for cyclists to qualify for Tokyo.
Redstone drivers should watch out for cyclists as they train on post this week. The Garrison has designated the following two training routes for the team:
Blue route, three miles, starting from the Candlewood Suites: left on Aerobee, left on Ajax, right on Cajun, right on Roland, right on ATACMS, left on Ajax, right on Aerobee, end point right into hotel parking lot.
Green route, four miles, starting from Candlewood Suites: left on Aerobee, right on Vincent, left on Phoenix, left on walking/bike trail, left on Neal, left on Patriot, left on Roland, right on ATACMS, left on Ajax, right on Aerobee, end point right into hotel parking lot.