Amputee cyclist Helgard Müller will fulfill his American Dream of motivating and inspiring others by cycling 3,045 miles on a road bike (and his mountain bike for the rough terrain) across the United States.
He aims to raise $100,000 for people with disabilities. To his knowledge, he will be the first person with only one leg to do a Christmas Cycling Challenge. He kicks off from Los Angeles, when he sets course for Ground Zero in New York City. He will be wearing his Riders For Hope golf-shirt and cap, thereby raising awareness for persons with disabilities.
“I hope to raise awareness and funds for the Riders For Hope “Christmas Cycling Challenge” campaign. I am riding to inspire communities all over the country to support Riders For Hope’s efforts to assist the many people with physical and mental disabilities who can’t afford to buy the appropriate equipment for their needs,” says Müller.
Muller had his foot amputated after an agricultural accident in Roscoe, S.D., in 2007. “The road to recovery was a long and painful process, and all I could focus on was seeing the things that I loved doing – being active, enjoying the outdoors and travelling – disappearing from my life,” he says.
He has already had several different prostheses, each of which cost in the neighborhood of $10,000. “Assistive devices for persons with disabilities cost a small fortune, and I want Americans to be aware of the issues that face persons with disabilities,” Müller says. “Furthermore, I look to helping those in need by procuring funds to help in the purchase of these items.”
The experience of losing a leg has changed him forever. “Before my accident, I was always in the background, quiet, introverted and had no voice,” he says. “Now, I am a changed man, I am fighter, a high flier in life, and I believe I can overcome anything that comes my way.”
“I am now far more active and involved in sports and fitness than I was before the accident,” continues Müller. “When asked what my biggest fear for this trip might be, I can honestly say that I have no fears because life has taught me to be fearless – just live and let live.”
He will head north-east from California to New York, traveling through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania which will take him to Ground Zero in New York.
He believes the trip will take between six weeks and two months. His wife, Hanlie, is cycling along, plus other friends joining along for the adventure and to drive the support vehicle.
They will keep their fans updated daily, so log onto www.helgardmuller.com and click through to his Facebook page. “I will be spreading my message of hope along the way, and encouraging other amputees (actually anyone) to believe in themselves that they can do anything if they set their mind to it,” Müller says. “No matter how big the challenge or what your history is, you can change your situation by doing something big to motivate yourself while inspiring others. What better way to express yourself than in a sport you love? I got myself a mountain bike, which I proudly cycle everywhere, and it worked for me!”
He says, “Go big and wear your Riders For Hope t-shirt and cap which you can buy online on www.ridersforhope.org, and remember, to please make your online tax deductable donations for people with disabilities.
To donate to Helgard’s cause, visit the website www.ridersforhope.org where you will find the link for donations.