Injured Veterans to Cycle 450 Miles from San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles for Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge

  Injured Veterans to Cycle 450 Miles from San Francisco Bay Area to Los
  Angeles for Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge

  *Injured active duty and retired military members to ride hand cycles,
    recumbents, tandems and road bikes along California coast from Palo Alto –
    birthplace of Ride 2 Recovery – to Santa Monica
  *Ride 2 Recovery provides cycling rehabilitation programs for the nation’s
    injured veterans
  *Public encouraged to gather along the daily routes to support riders

Business Wire

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- October 7, 2013

More than 200 injured veterans and their supporters will set off on Sunday,
Oct. 13, on the UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge, a
seven-day, 450-mile bicycle ride from VA Palo Alto Health Care System – the
birthplace of Ride 2 Recovery – to Los Angeles.

Juan Carlos Hernandez of Woodland Hills, Calif., a retired E-4/Specialist,
Chinook Gunner Crewman, U ...

Juan Carlos Hernandez of Woodland Hills, Calif., a retired E-4/Specialist,
Chinook Gunner Crewman, U.S. Army, who lost his right leg when his aircraft
was hit by a grenade, says cycling helps keep his mind clear and focused, and
has helped him recover from his injuries more quickly. He will be among more
than 200 injured veterans who will participate in the upcoming
UnitedHealthcare Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge (Oct. 13-19), a 450-mile
ride from the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles. In this picture, he rides
with fellow veterans at the 2013 Ride 2 Recovery Memorial Challenge near
Yorktown, Va. (Photo: Tiffini Skuce).

Ride 2 Recovery supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs
for injured veterans, featuring 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

“When I ride my bike, I feel relaxed,” said Juan Carlos Hernandez of Woodland
Hills, Calif., a retired E-4/Specialist, Chinook Gunner Crewman, U.S. Army,
who lost his right leg when his aircraft was hit by a grenade. “Cycling helps
me physically and mentally, keeping my mind clear and focused, and aiding my
walking and quick recovery. I love the program and what it has done for me and
my fellow veterans who are recovering. I believe cycling does so many things
that medicine cannot, especially the peer-to-peer mentoring we have with one
another on the rides.”

These service men and women have been training for this ride as a means to
build strength and conditioning, and to help overcome the challenges many
veterans face when returning home from service. Most of the cyclists are
introduced to Ride 2 Recovery from a Warrior Transition Unit/Battalion or
Veterans Affairs facility through R2R’s Project HERO program.

“The UnitedHealthcare Challenge Series offersour healing heroes involved in
the Project HERO program a way to get back in the game of life,” said John
Wordin, president and founder, Ride 2 Recovery. “We have established 37
Project HERO program locationson military installations and at Veterans
Affairs Medical Centers. Participants are evaluated and coached by the R2R
staffto rebuild strength and conditioning, while concurrently healing the
effects of PTS (post traumatic stress), traumatic brain injuries and
depression. Cycling is a powerful therapeutic exercise that they can do alone
or in groups for the rest of their lives.”

“As a former Marine Officer, I understand the sacrifices made by our
veterans,” said Tom Wiffler, chief field operations officer, UnitedHealthcare
Military & Veterans. “Riding alongside these service men and women is a
privilege I have had several times, and I look forward to supporting them
again in the Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge.”

California Challenge cyclists will start their journey in Palo Alto, and ride
south to Gilroy, then along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway along the state’s
scenic coastline with overnight stops in Carmel, San Simeon, Pismo Beach,
Solvang and Ventura. The ride will conclude Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Santa
Monica Pier.

The public is encouraged to gather along the daily ride routes or at the
hotels to support the cyclists at any juncture along the route. To see daily
stops and events along the route, or to sign up for the California Challenge,
click here for the online ride guide.

This is the fourth year UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH)
company, is serving as Ride 2 Recovery’s title sponsor, providing financial,
in-kind and volunteer support to help America’s injured veterans.

Ride 2 Recovery is one of many ways UnitedHealth Group supports veterans and
their families. In 2012, UnitedHealth Group joined the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a
coalition of major U.S. corporations that share the goal of hiring 100,000
transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020. UnitedHealth
Group partners with a variety of organizations to help source military and
veteran candidates such as the Military Spouse Employment Partnership,
RecruitMilitary and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Earlier this year, UnitedHealthcare became the managed care support contractor
for the West Region of the U.S. Defense Department’s TRICARE program, serving
nearly 2.9 million military service members, retirees and their families in 21
states, including more than 846,000 in California.

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.

Ride 2 Recovery has established Project HERO programs at 34 military
installations and three VA sites. Through these on-site programs, R2R partners
with the facility staff and cadre to create personalized and progressive
programs to fit the needs of the individual patients and promote a fuller,
quicker rehabilitation.

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
780,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care
facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in
health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:
UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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Matthew Yi, 714-226-3842
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