On Wednesday Doug Chivington will bicycle from the Cincinnati Zoo to the Toledo Zoo, and he is hoping to do it quickly.
The former Honda associate is hoping to establish a state record for his age group, 50-59, for the World UltraCycling Association.
But the ride is part of something even bigger, Chivington says.
He explained the trip is his way of combining a passion for ultra-distance cycling and supporting military veterans into a yearlong quest to educate others about traumatic brain injuries and the mission of the Resurrecting Lives Foundation.
“God has given me the talent to sit on a bicycle for a long period of time,” he said. “I would like to ride with a purpose and support our Veterans.”
Chivington, 59, says he hopes the ride will raise awareness and funds for the Ohio-based Resurrecting Lives Foundation, which coordinates and advocates for a successful transition to a post-military career and life for veterans with traumatic brain injuries.
His interest in helping veterans is motivated by his son’s combat injury suffered in 2006 while he was serving in Iraq. His son has recovered but Chivington said he became an advocate for veterans with such injuries.
“It was about a two-year process to get back to normal,” Chivington said. “It was a long, difficult road for him.”
Chivington said that “through that whole process, I have a need to give back to all the people who have helped our family.”
He said that after he retired from Honda of America in March, he and a colleague got together and were discussing how he could help. A lifelong runner and cyclist, Chivington has focused on ultra-distance cycling – events of 100 miles or more – for about 10 years.
“We decided this was a worthwhile adventure and aligned with my passion for ultra-cycling and our family’s values,” Chivington said.
Chivington said he did not serve, but comes from “a military family.” In addition to the son injured in Iraq, Chivington has another son currently deployed with the Air Force.
He said that currently there is no record for his age group so Wednesday’s ride, “gives me the potential to establish one.”
While one colleague helped him make the decision to ride for veterans, it was another who helped make him first aware of the need.
At Honda, Chivington he was a human resources manager. It was there he met Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, who founded the Resurrecting Lives Foundation. Gordon, who has served as Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at Memorial Hospital since 1988, would speak to company officials about hiring veterans.
Chivington said the awareness campaign is more than a one-time stunt. He said that in 2020 he plans to participate in at least four ultra-distance cycling events, in addition to the Sept. 11 ride.
“It will be mentally and physically challenging to do these events and there is a connection with veterans because recovering from a traumatic brain injury is mentally and physically challenging,” he said. “I don’t want them to give up.”
He hopes to raise at least $50,000 for the foundation. He said he wants to reach as many people as possible and would like to raise $1 from 50,000 people. Those wishing to help are asked to text “GO DOUG” to 44321.
Chivington said he also plans to meet with veterans and create a cycling team for the foundation.
The foundation believes he can accomplish his goals.
“It is incredible,” Gordon said. “We are so grateful for his efforts and proud to be a part of his journey.”
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