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Ryan Sykes grew up in the foothills of Northern California. He ran

Cross County and competed in Track and Field events in High School.

He enlisted in the Navy while still in school and soon went to Boot

Camp after graduation. He wanted to give back to his country and

explore the world. He spent more than half of his military service on

either training missions within the U.S. or deployments overseas.

In 2008, Navy Petty Officer First Class Ryan Sykes was on his fifth

deployment to Afghanistan, serving as a special warfare analyst. It

was on that deployment that he sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury

(TBI) and other life-threatening injuries in a motorcycle accident in

Eastern Afghanistan. Lying unconscious in the darkness for more than

five hours, a local security guard found him and alerted American

troops. In addition to the traumatic brain injury, he also sustained a

collapsed lung, facial fractures, and phenomena. Petty Officer Sykes

was saved from further brain injury due to the freezing temperatures

that limited the swelling of his brain.

Now medically retired, Ryan maintains an active lifestyle, and makes

working out at the gym a priority despite his injuries, which include

partial-paralysis on the left side of his body. He likes being outdoors,

usually accompanied by his service dog Docker. Ryan volunteers

three days a week with the local police department, where he’s able to

employ the same skills he used while serving in the Navy Special

Warfare units. Ryan rides his bike in his spare time. He was a very

avid rider before his injury and not much has changed. Riding helps

to keep him both mentally and physically fit and to burn off excess

energy. As a team member of Peace Cycling Performance, Ryan

feels fully supported in his cycling endeavors and can ride to the best

of his abilities and beyond.


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