Vet on suicide prevention mission gets help in GR

Grand Rapids

For people in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can always be reached at 1.800.273.8255 or online.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two Grand Rapids businesses have stepped up to help a military veteran who is cycling across the country to encourage suicide prevention.

Daniel Hurd is just under 12,000 miles into a three-year journey that will cover the continental U.S.

A wheel problem brought his travels to a halt in East Lansing last week, but he will soon head to Mackinaw City after receiving repairs in Grand Rapids Wednesday.

“That’s just like life,” Hurd told 24 Hour News 8. “It’s about showing them we can get back up and keep going one pedal at a time.”

Grand Rapids Bicycle Company and Velocity USA, Inc. provided the free repairs and materials that will get Hurd back to sharing his message.

Daniel Hurd bicycle repair
Repairs are made to Daniel Hurd’s bicycle. Hurt is cycling across the country to raise awareness about veteran suicide. (July 3, 2019)

“I tell people all the time that it’s important to talk to everybody if you’re struggling and it’s important that if you’re fine and mentally stable, to be willing to listen to people and do it judgment-free. We can’t fix their problems, but we’re willing to be there to listen is a huge step,” Hurd said.

His One Pedal At A Time mantra has turned into a nonprofit. It’s a mission that resonates in each of the 26 states he’s visited so far.

“My father was a veteran of Vietnam and he had his share of struggles after coming home from there,” Rob Meendering, who does sales for Velocity USA, Inc., told 24 Hour News 8. “I think it’s great what Dan is doing by opening the dialogue not only around (post-traumatic stress disorder), but suicide prevention as well. Dialogues that back when my father returned from Vietnam, I don’t think people discussed it as openly as what Dan is trying to do.”

Hurd’s longest ride has been 129 miles in a day, which he explained was a dedication ride for the average number of people who die by suicide each day in the United States.

“Every mile is a person and we have to be willing to make a change and we have to be willing to listen. We have to be willing to talk to get that number lower. It’s going to take a long time to get that number to zero, but I hope I never have to do 129 miles again in one day,” he said.

You can follow Hurd’s journey online and on social media.

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