Jorge Avalos is a retired U.S. Army veteran who served 23 years as an airborne ranger. A cyclist from a young age, Avalos has always sought adventure. In 2011, he was skydiving when his canopy collapsed. The accident paralyzed him from the waist down and compounded previous injuries he suffered from an IED explosion while serving in Iraq.

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News Coverage

Jorge Avalos, an Army veteran who—after surviving IED attacks and a skydiving accident—is an avid mountain biker.  Watch Jorge ride with President George W. Bush and hear more of his story.

Pro Tip: Bike Gear

Listen in as Jorge Avalos shares everything you need to gear up for your next bike ride

Watch as TPWF Vice Chair, Mark Bivins, takes We Will Not Be Tamed Ambassador, Jorge Avalos, for his first ride around Palo Duro Canyon.

Do you have a favorite place you like to bike to get away from it all?

Here in San Antonio we are fortunate to have several options that are close by that feel like you are far away. McAllister Park has some great trails, and Government Canyon State Natural Area also provides some wonderful mountain biking opportunities. Flat Rock Ranch in Comfort is another favorite place to ride.

How have experiences in nature impacted your life and your recovery from the many injuries you’ve suffered?

One thing these injuries have allowed me to do is to learn my limitations and adjust to my new normal. It has also allowed me to realize that life doesn’t have to be as stressful as one makes it. Nature is such a tonic. Getting away from the city and everyday worries allows me to get away from myself and my mind and just enjoy the beauty of nature and what God gave us. This is the way I see it. I have a strong faith in God and I attribute it to Him.

Why have you partnered with TPWF in the We Will Not Be Tamed campaign?

I was not fully aware of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation until I was approached by the Bush Institute. When I was approached about partnering with TPWF on the campaign, I did some research about the work TPWF has done. I realized that this organization is something I could believe in simply because it protects the things I love. TPWF is conserving what Texas is all about.

Why should Texans care about conserving Texas’ lands, waters and wildlife?

It’s the only land we have, and we definitely want to protect what we love about Texas. As a father, I want my kids and grandkids to enjoy what we enjoy. As Texans, we need to take care of our home.

Can you share a recent outdoor experience that was meaningful to you and explain why?

I really enjoy mountain biking, especially in the fall. I’m not a big birdwatcher, but I do enjoy seeing raptors. I think it’s the warrior in me, and I appreciate that they are fearless predators. Last October I was mountain biking at Flat Rock Ranch and heard the scream of a hawk. I stopped, stayed quiet and listened and heard it again. This beautiful hawk was about 20 meters up in a tree. And he was looking right down at the trail. I just stopped and took it all in, until he flew away. That was a memorable moment.