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.