More than 150 veterans and their supporters set off from Houston on Monday for the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery 2016 Texas Challenge, a six-day, rehabilitative ride that ends in Fort Worth on Saturday, April 16.
Ride 2 Recovery supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs for injured veterans. From indoor spinning training at military installations to multiday, long-distance rides, Ride 2 Recovery helps injured veterans heal through the challenge of cycling long distances using hand cycles, recumbents, tandems and traditional upright bikes.
Riders will travel nearly 500 miles through College Station, Tomball, Georgetown, Killeen, Fort Hood, Waco and Cleburne, before ending in Fort Worth. The public is encouraged to gather along the daily routes to cheer on the cyclists as they peddle through each city.
“We are honored to support this important health program for the men and women who have proudly served our country,” said Tom Quirk, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of North Texas. “Programs such as the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge help provide exercise and rehabilitation services that are critically important to helping injured veterans enjoy a return to the health and well-being they richly deserve. We look forward to riding beside them and embarking on this challenge.”
“The State of Texas is a welcoming home to many veterans because we appreciate their service and support their transition into civilian life,” said Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. “Events like Ride 2 Recovery are excellent opportunities to remind our veterans that they are not alone.”
Prior to Monday’s kickoff, the public gathered in Humble, Texas, for the fourth annual Clay Hunt Honor Ride. The ride honors the memory of Houston native Sgt. Clay Hunt, a U.S. Marine Corps sniper who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hunt participated in Ride 2 Recovery for three years prior to his suicide in 2011. To improve access to quality mental health care, President Obama signed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act into law on Feb. 12, 2015.
This is the seventh year UnitedHealthcare will serve as the Ride 2 Recovery Challenge Series presenting sponsor, providing financial, in-kind and volunteer support to assist in the rehabilitation of America’s injured veterans. UnitedHealthcare is the presenting sponsor of six Ride 2 Recovery multiday cycling challenges across the United States this year.