Wounded vets, on bicycle trek from sea to shining sea, will visit Park City | ParkRecord.com

Wounded vets, on bicycle trek from sea to shining sea, will visit Park City

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

A cross-country bicycle trek involving wounded and disabled veterans, mostly from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has scheduled a stop in Park City next summer.

The trek, known as Sea to Shining Sea, takes the veterans from San Francisco to Virginia Beach, Va. It starts at the end of May and the veterans are expected in Virginia Beach in mid-July. It was not clear yet when the group will be in Park City, but a date in mid-June is possible.

The 2012 trek will be the second Sea to Shining Sea event, following one in 2010. Van Brinson, the chief operating officer of the not-for-profit group that organizes the event, World T.E.A.M. Sports, said approximately 20 wounded or disabled veterans will be riding. Some will be on bicycles and others will be on handcycles, which are powered by someone’s arms rather than their legs like a bicycle. Another 15 people will travel with the veterans in support vehicles.

"We had an amazing outpouring of support last time," Brinson said, recalling that people living in small towns warmly greeted them and families would hand out water as the riders went by.

He said the 2012 itinerary will include 53 or 54 cities of various sizes. Brinson said the route will vary from the one in 2010. The organizers selected Salt Lake City as one of the places in 2012 and then scouted for nearby locations to include on the route. He said Park City was a logical stop, noting the scenery on the route between Salt Lake City and Park City.

The stop in Park City will involve an overnight stay, Brinson said. He said some sort of public event will be scheduled while the group is in Park City to give people the chance to meet the veterans. Brinson called the event a "moving tangible testament to the resilience" of the injured veterans.

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Mayor Dana Williams said he is "proud and honored they picked Park City" as one of the stops. Paul Bremer, who once was the U.S.-appointed civilian administrator in Iraq and is now involved with the Sea to Shining Sea event, visited Park City recently to discuss the arrangements.