Events/News

Riding Across America: New Book Chronicles 2010 Sea to Shining Sea Journey

BY RICHARD RHINEHART

Holbrook, New York, March 28, 2012World T.E.A.M. Sports’ inspiring summer 2010 Sea to Shining Sea cross-country journey by 15 disabled veterans and their able-bodied colleagues is followed in Paul Bremer’s new e-book, “From Sea to Shining Sea: Biking Across America with Wounded Warriors.”

From a cloudy, chilly mid-May beginning at the edge of San Francisco Bay to the late July conclusion at the crowded boardwalks of sweltering Virginia Beach, Virginia, the participants of the epic ride faced numerous challenges. As they crossed North America in the State Farm-sponsored ride, these challenges were both physical and emotional. Recalling earlier epic journeys such as the early 1860s Pony Express and the often-tragic mid 19th century crossings of settlers traveling west to California and Oregon, Bremer’s book provides an in-the-saddle view of the highs and lows of the 3,687-mile, 13 state journey.
Sea to Shining Sea cover

With State Farm interns and volunteers providing support throughout their journey, the disabled riders found themselves riding in icy snowstorms in the high Sierras Mountains, in baking heat in the deserts of the Colorado Plateau and in torrential downpours in America’s Midwest. Through the days, weeks and months of their travels, the riders learned to work together as a team, providing support to their colleagues. Sometimes, this was as simple as lending a hand to help a rider up a hill; at other times, providing opportunities for colleagues to challenge themselves with new experiences.

As one of the journey’s able-bodied riders, Bremer found within him the strength and resolve to encourage his colleagues to tackle the challenges as they arose and not worry about difficulties yet to come. Frustrated, angry motorists lashed out at the riders on occasion, nearly unrideable road surfaces in some regions provided rough and even dangerous riding, and day after day of constant headwind tired riders to nearly the point of tears. Yet, this band of cyclists continued on their journey to inspire both the disabled and the able-bodied.

Bremer start of 2010 Sea to Shinng Sea

General Robert Magnus, former Assistant Commandant of the USMC, and Paul Bremer, right, talk at the start of the 2010 Sea to Shining Sea ride. Photograph copyright 2010, Van Brinson.

The intense and unending support the team received from men, women and children along the route provided encouragement. In large cities and in tiny rural communities, Americans came out to support the Sea to Shining Sea riders. Impromptu food and water stops, supportive signage and cheers offered encouragement. Dozens of luncheons, dinners and receptions provided the wounded warriors opportunities to support others – they gave inspiration to numerous veterans with disabilities who had returned home to unsure futures. “As they ride, the disabled riders show other disabled Americans that they don’t have to accept a life bounded by injury,” writes Bremer.

As the miles pass by in this chronological book, it is clear that epic journeys fundamentally change those who participate. In addition, volunteers, sponsors, reporters and even readers’ lives were changed through the unending dedication of the participating riders.

“We had built a team from disparate individuals, made lifelong friends, met tens of thousands of wonderful patriotic Americans everywhere, suffered, gotten angry, had lots of laughs and a few tears,” writes Bremer. “From Sea to Shining Sea” is a book that provides strength and encouragement in today’s uncertain and turbulent times.

“From Sea to Shining Sea: Biking Across America with Wounded Warriors” was published in September, 2011 by Bremer Enterprises and is available digitally online for the Kindle through Amazon.com and for the Nook through Barnes & Noble.

Read a chapter of “From Sea to Shining Sea: Biking Across America with Wounded Warriors,” courtesy Bremer Enterprises.

Sea to Shining Sea 2010 Route

The route for the 2010 Sea to Shining Sea ride. Image courtesy Paul Bremer, Bremer Enterprises.