On Friday, August 4, The Heroes Ride Bike Tour rides for its 39th year in support of The Highground, beginning in five locations throughout the state. The Southern Route bicyclists will saddle up for their three-day ride on Friday. Starting in Cottage Grove, WI, approximately thirty bicyclists with support and gear personnel will travel over 160 total miles. What brings them together is their love of riding bicycles, their support of our Veterans and their love for The Highground.
Everyone rides for a reason and riding has changed many lives. When asked why she rides in this annual event, Renee Bernard (Blister Pack/Southern Route member) shared her experience from her very first ride. Renee reported it was a rough three-day ride and that she had often asked herself “why am I doing this”. Her reason came to her as she rode down the flag-lined road at The Highground with many guests clapping and welcoming them to the park. Renee said she knew then that she would continue to participate in the ride as long as she is able to.
The Southern Route will begin their ride at 7am on Friday, August 4 at the Cottage Grove Park and Ride on exit 244. They will ride over 150 miles, receiving enormous support along the they way as they pass through Portage, Oxford, Friendship, Nekoosa, Wisconsin Rapids and Pittsville. On Sunday morning, August 6, they begin the last leg of their journey. They will arrive at The Highground around 10:30am. Every rider volunteered for this event, taking time off from work, family events and more to show their patriotism. The Highground encourages supporters to welcome the Southern Route as they arrive at the park.
Each year, a few of the routes have a friendly competition to see which route can raise the most money. Thanks to many supporters, the Southern Route raised over $33,000. Supporting the Southern Route this year are: W & A Distribution Services, NextHome Success, Cutz on Kutz, Fort Healthcare of Fort Atkinson; Design Electric of Madison; Wipfli; and Groundswell (The Mary Boortz Foundation) of Eau Claire.
This annual event began in 1985 with Tom Miller riding 1,244 miles around Wisconsin to bring awareness and recognition to Vietnam Veterans and to raise funds to lay the foundation of The Highground. That number represents how many servicemen and women were killed in action during the Vietnam War.
The Heroes Ride, The Highground’s largest and longest running fundraiser, raised over $93,000 in 2022. The dedication of these riders helps the organization to confidently focus on Veterans programming including social programs and restorative retreats that help Veterans and their families overcome the challenging emotions associated with military service.
The Highground is grateful for all returning riders and looks forward to welcoming new riders every year. There is still time to join the ride and help support The Highground’s continuing mission to honor the sacrifices of our Veterans and their families, educate the public about those sacrifices and encourage the healing of the masked wounds of war.
More information including registration options are available on the Heroes Ride website at thehighgroundheroesride.com. Information about The Highground, event updates and more are available on The Highground’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/TheHighgroundVeteransMemorial.
The Highground is located at W7031 Ridge Rd, Neillsville WI 54456.