Brown & Curry has had the privilege of helping a Missouri veteran win in his fight against the VA for nearly a decade. Along the way, he taught us something — the mental uplift riding a bike can deliver.
Ed was born on a farm near Archie, Missouri. He served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972, deploying to Vietnam as an infantry rifleman. He patrolled Khe Sanh with his unit, earning a Combat Infantry Badge and Purple Heart before he got out. He worked in the insurance business after the war. Staying busy helped keep his mind preoccupied.
But in 2007, he discovered cycling. He purchased a road bike and started participating in bicycling fundraisers, such as the MS150, which is a ride to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. He had also completed a ride across Iowa with RAGBRAI. He began riding every day during riding season, hitting several long rides per month. His favorite local trail is the Little Blue Trace in Independence, Missouri.
Ed said he loves riding because of the physical challenge, but also because of the security it gives him. He describes it as his happy place — there’s no bad juju when he’s out on his bike.
Medical research supports that exercise, and cycling in particular, positively impacts a veteran’s outlook. Studies have shown that biking can combat depression. A 2018 study published in the Lancet found that bicycle riders reported fewer bad mental health days than their non-riding counterparts.
Camaraderie during rides was also a benefit, Ed mentioned. And riding in groups may have even more benefit. Programs have formed to offer veterans opportunities to ride together. Ride 2 Recovery, for instance, a program operated by the non-profit Project Hero, organizes multi-day rides that cover 100s of miles, all geared toward providing veterans and the military the opportunity to ride together.
Ed has logged nearly 30,000 miles on his bike in the last decade, helping out charities in the process of helping himself out. It’s an exercise he heartily recommends to others.
We are proud of Ed, and we are happy he won his fight against the VA too. Keep riding Ed!