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« The Final Ride | Main | Sea to Shining Sea riders complete mission at Virginia Beach »

Veteran returns from sea to sea ride

By Colleen Creamer, The Dickson Herald

Dickson’s Michael Manning, the only Tennessee participant in the second Sea to Shining Sea ride, a 4,000-mile bicycle ride across the U.S. by a team of veterans, made it safely home last week. His arrival comes after a grueling 60 days of cycling across the country in order to bring awareness to post traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD, and other war-related injuries.

Michael Sanders, left, and Michael Manning during their July 26 ride from Richmond to Williamsburg, Virginia. Photograph by Michael Sanders.The two months were demanding and rewarding for Manning who started cycling in 2010 as a way to deal with PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). A Marine for eight years, Manning left the Corps but later joined the Army just as President Bush's "Shock and Awe" campaign was being launched in 2003. He suffered PTSD from his time there as well as TBI, which left him with short-term memory loss and living on disability.

“All in all, the trip was phenomenal, with the amount of support that we got for doing it,” Manning said. “When we first started it was kind of a slow go [regarding support], but once we started making our way — I would say after Colorado — towns started knowing about it in advance, because people in one town would call people in the next town and say ‘Hey, this is going on.’”

Manning said by the time the group got to St. Louis, where they were met with planned festivities, they were also met with a throng of enthusiasts, the group at the time having averaged about 85 to 90 miles per day, the longest day, 123 miles.

“We had police escorts all the way through Illinois and Indiana,” Manning said. “It got very interesting coming into all of that. The last two weeks were kind of very fast; it just seemed like the days were just running by.”


Read the full story at The Tennesseean website.

The final segment of the Sea to Shining Sea ride into Neptune's Park at Virginia Beach, Virginia July 28. Photograph by Michael Manning.

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