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Bikes Over Baghdad

Photograph By Andrew Hetherington for ESPN The Magazine

At mealtimes, the riders take advantage of the time to meet and mingle with as many soldiers as possible. "If you fly across country and someone asks you, 'How was your trip?' you wouldn't know. You flew," says Mike "Rooftop" Escamilla. "If you drive across country, you see the country. That's how we feel about these trips. We want to get out and see the bases and meet as many people as we can. I'm inspired by the overall great attitude of the people who are here. They give up so much in order to work to protect he liberties we have at home."