Riding through the State I love to help others heal.
I have been off my bike for too long, but this event is what I need to focus on to help me and provide me the drive I have temporarily lost. Although this year's route will vary, I did this same ride back in 2017, and it was a blast. I met some lifelong friends, and it provided a purpose I was missing.
I am looking forward to getting back in shape and riding with some phenomenal individuals!
Challenge: 60 to 90 miles a day for seven days from Minneapolis to Chicago. Oh, we have to ride through a State I love and an area I am all too familiar with. I waited for the 2017 Challenge for three years, and now I have less than 69 days to prepare for this one. Southwestern Wisconsin, God's Country, we will own you.
I am participating in the 2021 Great Lakes Challenge, a week-long ride covering hundreds of miles that pushes participants to the max. This incredible event brings together wounded warriors, veterans, active military members, first responders, and the general public for a once-in-a-lifetime journey of teamwork, perseverance, and strength.
It is the goal of every healing hero who is a part of Project Hero's rehabilitation program to ride in one of these Challenges. Project Hero even custom-builds bikes so that the most severely injured veterans can ride.
Please help me support our nation's injured veterans and donate to help cover the costs associated with participating in a Challenge. Your donation will help us save lives by restoring hope and purpose and get more riders riding more often!
Seven years ago, my friends Thom and Sherri Smith introduced road cycling to me. Skeptical initially, it turned out that I loved it. Twenty-four years in the service has taken a toll on my body, especially my knees and feet. However, with its physical and mental benefits, cycling brought out a competitive spirit that had been somewhat flagging in the years before hitting the road. Cycling not only helps me with overall body movement and peace of mind, but it helped me reconnect with the competitive spirit that I misplaced while expanding my support chain among other fellow riders. In the first four months, I rode in several small Veteran group rides sponsored by PROJECT HERO and an HONOR Ride in Barrington, Illinois, totaling 1,000 miles. To date, I have participated in twelve fundraiser rides, of which three were HONOR Rides. With your help, we raised over $4,000 for the Ride 2 Recovery/Project Hero in Dane County. As a result, Ride 2 Recovery, today under the Project Hero umbrella, looks to have a broader impact on the individuals they serve.
Thom and Sherri opened my eyes to the many contributions of Ride 2 Recovery/Project Hero and their role in helping Veteran families, first responders, and current service members. Barrington, Illinois, my first HONOR Ride, introduced me to the organization's family atmosphere and culture. The HONOR Rides continue to confirm everything I have experienced during the past few years. Without question, I witnessed firsthand the healing and camaraderie demonstrated in the organization and guaranteed my participation in it.
My goal is to raise $2000 for Project Hero and help myself and others get assistance and regain their peace of mind. As you know, Moose is a part of the peace of mind and companionship helping me, and cycling is another piece of the puzzle. Please support through providing funds or other methods if you can. I am very appreciative of my chain of support! The funds raised invest the amount it costs for one rider to participate in a Challenge ride (hotels, food, transportation, support staff); however, it keeps it free for the riders through your generous donations! It is a very lofty goal, but we all have to set high goals. Please help me raise money to support programs that help Veterans and First Responders heal both in body and mind.
Project Hero's mission, helping Veterans and First Responders affected by PTSD, TBI, and injury, aid in rehabilitation, recovery, and resilience in their daily lives, and increase awareness to combat the national mental health emergency posed by PTSD and TBI. Project Hero programs, Project Hero HUB Centers, Ride 2 Recovery Challenges and special events, Project Hero Honor Rides, and the Project Hero Research Institute for Mental Health, designed to help heal our heroes, set goals beyond their original expectations. Donations fund bikes, tubes, tools and even support Veterans and First Responders with transportation to events across the United States. Results of Project Hero include reduced elimination of resilience on prescription drugs, increased ability to perform typical day-to-day activities, improved health and general fitness, reduced pain, and improved sleep. For more information on Project Hero, please check out https://weareprojecthero.org/. Hopefully, at some point, one of the VA's in Wisconsin will have this program in-house.
I am a firm believer in the power of cycling. So helping myself and others Ride On!
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