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ARTICLE Injured Veterans to Cycle 450 Miles From San Francisco to Los Angeles for Annual Ride 2 Recovery Cycling Event

PACIFICA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2011) – More than 200 cyclists and injured veterans, including approximately 100 from California, and their supporters will set off on Oct. 2 on the Ride 2 Recovery Golden State Challenge sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, a seven-day, 450-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.


The ride begins at Rockaway State Beach and travels along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway with overnight stops in Santa Cruz, Carmel, San Simeon, Pismo Beach, Solvang and Ventura. The injured veterans and others riding in support will arrive at the Santa Monica Pier on Oct. 8. Go online to see daily stops and events along the route or to sign up for the Golden State Challenge.


Ride 2 Recovery benefits military mental and physical rehabilitation programs that feature cycling as the core activity. 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 road bikes.


This is the second year that UnitedHealthcare is serving as the Ride 2 Recovery's presenting sponsor, providing financial, in-kind and volunteer support to assist in the rehabilitation of America's injured veterans.


"The Ride 2 Recovery Golden State Challenge helps support important health programs for men and women who served our country, so we are honored to be able to serve them through this sponsorship," said Steve Nelson, West Region CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual. "Exercise and rehabilitation services are critically important to help injured veterans enjoy a return to the health and well-being they richly deserve."


"One of the best qualities of cycling is that practically anyone can participate," said John Wordin, president and founder, Ride 2 Recovery. "We adapt bikes for the injured veterans so they can once again find the physical and mental outlet, whether alone or in groups. As they rebuild strength and conditioning, they are also healing the effects of post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries and depression. Cycling is a powerful therapeutic exercise that they can continue to do for the rest of their lives."


The USO will support daily rest stops with a mobile canteen, and the American Legion Family will provide a motorcycle escort and sponsor dinners and community events. The public is encouraged to gather along the daily routes to support the cyclists.


About R2R
Ride 2 Recovery, a 501(c) 3, helps injured veterans improve their health and wellness through individual and group cycling. Cycling has proven to be a catalyst in the recovery process by providing a new physical challenge while concurrently helping to cope with the psychological challenges.


About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.