If you want to be inspired while supporting our veterans, then you should try to check out the Ride 2 Recovery Great Lakes Challenge over the next few days. More than 200 injured veterans and their supporters set off yesterday from Minneapolis on a 270-mile ride to support rehabilitation for injured veterans. One of the most moving stories from the cyclists was featured on WCCO 4 News yesterday (watch it here). A soldier named Patrick Zeigler was shot four times during a terror attack on our own soil at Ft. Hood, Texas. His wife Jessica is from Minnesota. She explained how bicycles helped to heal her husband and others, “They’ve been told that they will never walk again. They may be bed ridden for the rest of their lives. Patrick was in that category and because somebody said let me build you a custom bike and get you independent, he was able to start walking again.” But for Zeigler and others the positive effects of cycling are more than physical. The President and Founder of Ride 2 Recovery, John Wordin, said the group adapts bikes so that injured veterans can rebuild strength and conditioning, but also heal the effects of post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries and depression. That’s some powerful stuff and a very commendable mission. Ride 2 Recovery is a non-profit that you can support through donations or by sponsoring a rider but the cyclists also love the simplest show of support: people along the roads, waving and cheering. Here’s a link to the schedule of when and where they’ll be riding in Red Wing, Rochester, Northfield and Minneapolis for the rest of the week. It all wraps up on Sunday with an appearance at the Twins game and a parade that I’m sure will be fitting for the heroes who came home from war, and the cyclists who welcomed them with such thoughtful support.
Angela Keegan Benson is the Assistant News Director at WCCO-TV and a mother of two. On August 1, 2011 she began her quest to live one full year as a bike commuter. Follow along as she figures out how to mesh the cycling culture with the demands of parenthood and an affinity for 4-inch heels. And yes, she’s committed to sticking it out through February storms. For more Cycling In The Cities, follow @Angela_Keegan on Twitter.