Wounded Warriors ride from Miami to the Keys
Mike Delancy wasn't really into cycling.
That was before he became a paraplegic. The 27-year-old ex-Marine served a tour of duty in Afghanistan before he was injured on foot patrol in Haditha, Iraq, on Sept. 1, 2006.
"Sniper picked me off," Delancy said. The bullet entered near his left shoulder and struck his lung.
He jokes about it now, and how the next thing he knew, he was waking up drugged on a plane.
He has a fond memory of a nurse, who he says was a "Washington Redskins cheerleader."
"I had to learn patience more than anything," he said of his rehabilitation, relying on family and friends in his native St. Petersburg.
On Thursday, he joined some 30 other injured veterans in taking a ride on a specially outfitted bike, a 21-speed he operates with a hand crank. The ride is organized by the Wounded Warrior Project. It will go from Miami to the Keys, with a final destination at U.S.S. Mohawk.
Really it's just for fun.
"Get us out and active and partying at night," he said. "It's always good to be around someone with your injury because you have someone to relate."