Bicyclists ride into La Crosse, supporting veterans and first re - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Bicyclists ride into La Crosse, supporting veterans and first responders

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Sherri Smith Sherri Smith
La Crosse, WI (WXOW) - -

More than 150 wounded military veterans and supporters rode into La Crosse during the 500-mile UnitedHealthcare Great Lakes Challenge bike ride.

The ride began on Monday, August 7 in Minnetonka, that day they rode 63 miles finishing in Rochester for the night before departing for La Crosse Tuesday morning, covering 72 miles on day two.

Sherri Smith, Coordinator of Project Hero in Madison said the things they do in the military is all about comradery.

"When you have a group of veterans who have been injured either physically or mentally, it's so important to bring them together to do these kind of events," said Smith.

The Great Lakes Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives.   Riding through historic sites, civic centers and local attractions, the riders make the journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems.

"It's better than sitting on a couch and feeling sorry for yourself. We're able to get out and do something that is meaningful which means getting back into a healthy state where we can give back to our communities. Being productive fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters," added Smith.

Local veterans are invited to ride on a single-day basis for a per-day registration fee. 

MORE INFORMATION: Project Hero

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