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Man to Trike 12,000 Miles for Veterans

Greg Hook's PTSD route by TerraTrike
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With two surgically reconstructed knees, Gregory Hook hopes to fully circumnavigate the lower 48 states on his recumbent Terra Trike.

Greg Hook's PTSD route by TerraTrike

In west Texas near the New Mexico border, 48-year-old Navy veteran Gregory Hook pedals into a headwind. It’s a tough task because he’s had numerous injuries to both his knees. And because he’s riding a tricycle and hauling a gear-stuffed trailer.

But despite the heavy load, desert sun, and prevailing winds, Hook takes strength from two things: his faith and his cause. Partnering with the Christian Warriors Retreat Center, a Texas nonprofit that helps veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Hook hopes to raise $25,000 during his 12,000-mile journey.

gregory hook riding terra trike

He will be honoring his son, also a veteran, who died in 2013 while battling PTSD.

“There is way more that needs to be done to help our current veterans,” said Hook. “By doing this ride around the U.S., I want to share my son’s story and raise money to help sponsor veterans to come to the Retreat Center for healing.”

Trike Around America

Hook departed from his Victoria, Texas, home on April 4, his birthday. Using the Adventure Cycling Association’s route network, he is heading west along the Southern Tier Route all the way to San Diego.

There, Hook will connect with the Pacific Crest Route heading north. Ultimately, his route will carry him east to the Northern Tier, through the Great Plains and Rust Belt, and finally to the Atlantic Coast in Maine.

From there, he’ll head south and then west, the ocean to his left, until he makes it to the far east terminus of the Southern Tier Route, which will bring him full circle.

Gregory Hook and family

In all, unless he detours, Hook’s 12,000-mile journey will take him through 29 states. He updates his progress on a trip blog and broadcasts it via Facebook Live videos.

Right off the bat, Hook admitted on his blog that progress was slow.


“Interesting first day. I started in La Grange, Texas, at 9:00 a.m. I was making great progress at 12 mph or more until I got to the Buescher State Park. Nothing but problems after that. Hills, hills, and more hills. I actually had to get off my trike and push everything uphill at least 10 times. Very steep.”

But despite flat tires, broken spokes, and a “wobbly trailer,” he’s made repairs and righted the ship. Hook is now in Van Horn, Texas, nearly 550 miles into his journey.

TerraTrike trailer

At his current pace, Hook will arrive back home on January 14, 2019.

Helping Veterans With PTSD

As a medically discharged disabled vet, Hook took a keen interest in helping service members.

“The veteran community has hard hitting statistics,” he said. “We lose 22 veterans each day to suicide and have a very high divorce rate for combat marriages.”

And his oldest son, Matthew, also dealt with PTSD after he returned from Iraq. Ultimately, his story ended in tragedy after he died of accidental overdose.

Despite two hobbled knees and a weight that once topped 300 pounds, Hook found solace and freedom in challenging himself physically and helping his comrades.

“My slogan is: ‘I Ride For Those Who Can No Longer Ride.’ I know firsthand the sacrifice made by our veteran community,” Hook said in an email. “When my legs are tired, I pedal with my heart.”

Close to two weeks in, Hook has raised nearly $1,400, all of which goes to veterans with PTSD. If you’d like to donate, check out Hook’s PTSD Awareness for Veterans fundraiser and follow his blog.

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