Amputees bicycling through state as part of trek across America

? James Thayer and two companions will ride into Kansas today, more than two weeks into their quest to bike across the country and well on their way to showing what amputees can do.

Thayer, of Mayfield, is being sponsored on his trip by the Amputee Coalition of America. The other riders are Kip Peavy of Montgomery, Ala., and Linda Holt of Peabody, Mass.

Riding 40 miles per day, the trio left San Francisco on June 2 and plans to arrive in New York City on Aug. 6.

In between, they plan to stop at 24 rehabilitation hospitals to visit with patients, raise awareness on amputee issues and show that losing a leg isn’t the end of an active lifestyle.

“I’m doing this for the adventure, and it’s another reason to prove to myself that I can do something like this,” Thayer said. “Meeting some of the young people who are amputees is inspirational. What they are going through and what they have done is pretty incredible.”

Thayer, 42, was a motorcycle officer for the Wichita Police Department when he was involved in a serious accident in 1997 on the way to work. Doctors had to amputate his badly injured right leg.

He now works as a family and marriage therapist.

While he said he has enjoyed the parts of America he’s seen already, especially traveling in the Rocky Mountains, he looks forward to riding through his home state, where he’ll be welcomed by family, friends and co-workers.

“My wife has come along with me as a support person, but my parents are coming to meet us in Hays and travel a couple of days with us,” he said.

The group is scheduled to spend most of this week in Kansas before moving through Missouri.