Nation's best handcyclists roll through Southeast Wisconsin
7:54 AM, Jun 19, 2017
10:41 AM, Jun 19, 2017
MILWAUKEE -- Some of the nation's best handcyclists were rolling around Southeast Wisconsin for the 11 day Tour of America's Dairyland Road Race this weekend.
The road race is the largest and most competitive in the country and it's the first time handcycling is part of the competition.
Handcycling is more than a hobby for Carlos Moleda.
"It's kind of like a bike that you power with your arms," said Moleda. "I can honestly say that sports really saved my life in a way."
Moleda was a Navy Seal during the 1989 invasion of Panama. Four of his teammates died. Moleda was one of eight wounded.
"I was shot in my back and my leg and paralyzed from the waste down pretty much instantaneously," Moleda said.
He focused his energy on sports and is now a five-time Ironman World Champion.
"The great thing is that you leave your chair and you get on the handcycle and you feel like you're not disabled," said Moleda.
Dozens of handcyclists are in town for the T.O.A.D. and many are on the Paralyzed Veterans of America Racing Team with Moleda.
"The handcyclists are no different than the rest of the TOAD participants," said Pam Ochowicz, Tour of America's. "We all share a passion for cycling, for competition, for being outside, for going fast. So it's a natural fit."
The sport has a huge influence on rehab for veterans.
"Being here in Milwaukee and being part of the races this weekend is the perfect place I think to display that to the public," said Moleda.
For more information about T.O.A.D, visit their website.