By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Injured veterans who need adaptive cycles to ride had quite a number of options at a hands-on clinic outside the River Winds Community Center in West Deptford.

The gear included recumbent cycles with three wheels, tricycles, or “trikes” for short, provided by the Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Center for Adaptive Sports, whose volunteers, like Al Leaf, stepped up to remove any barriers.

“It’s a hand-powered vehicle, so you’ll be using your upper body strength to move forward,” he explained.

He was showing Morocco, a vet from Philadelphia who lost a leg in service of his country, a handcycle, popular among riders with lower-limb mobility impairments.

“I can’t do things I used to do, so this is one way of getting me out and doing things,” Morocco said.

img 8698 Adaptive Cycling Clinic Helps Disabled Vets Go Further And Faster

Morocco gets ready to take a ride. (credit: Steve Tawa)

Morocco was a powerlifter and body builder.

“Sometimes, you got to start from the bottom to get to the top,” he said.

Within moments, he was propelling the trike using his arms, showing that competitive spirit.

“I’m always happy to be standing up and looking down. It’s better than laying down and looking up,” said Morocco.

“We hope that they’ll pick it up, find an interest in it, and use it as a lifetime sport,” said Kathy Brill, the Chief of Recreation Therapy at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in University City.

Organizers of the Horsham-based Project Hero were on hand to sign vets on for its adaptive cycling events, to help them go “further and faster,” in their rehabilitation and recovery programs.

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