WASHINGTON — Five veterans are undertaking a 3,700-mile bike ride from Washington, D.C. to Washington State.

They will be following the Great American Rail-Trail across 12 states, and David Davila, a former Army medic from Land O' Lakes, Fla., is among those taking part in the journey. ​

What You Need To Know

  • A group of five veterans has set out on a 3,700-mile bike ride from Washington D.C. to Washington State

  • They will be following the Great American Rail-Trail, which will take them across 12 states

  • David Davila, a former Army medic from Land O' Lakes, Fla., is among them

It's part of an outdoor therapy program through Warrior Expeditions, a non-profit organization. From water to electronics, the riders are well equipped with all the essentials. 

Davila said cycling from coast to coast is an opportunity of a lifetime. He served the U.S. for 24 years in the Army, including two tours in Iraq as a flight medic.

"Pretty much we were just treating everybody from Iraqi civilians, to American soldiers and any allies," he said. 

He retired in 2018, and says that after being deployed, cycling has become an outlet that allows him to decompress. 

"We use it as a way to, to relax, to open our minds, to forget about what happened in the past and get into something new, something that is refreshing for us," he said. "And at the same time when we are with other veterans, we can between us, share that experience."

The veterans are traveling on the Great American Rail-Trail​ — the country's "first" multi-use trail that has been created from former railroad corridors.

"We partnered with warrior expeditions here because their veterans go on long-distance journeys to heal from their experiences in the service," said Great American Rail-Trail project manager Kevin Belanger. "And they're very excited to go across the country on a trail, keep staying away from traffic as much as possible." 

Davila is currently biking through Indiana and says the destination he's most excited for is the Pacific Ocean.