By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — A local veteran will take to the nation’s roadways to support his fellow soldiers.
Bill Manning, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, will ride his bicycle across the county to honor servicemen and women injured during service. He will raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Manning, a Derry native, served in the military from 1960 to1964.
As an avid cyclist, taking on this cause makes the riding all the more important, Manning said.
“I’ve been riding for a long time,” the 70-year-old said. “I heard about Wounded Warrior and I thought I would get involved.”
Manning’s ride will begin on June 16 when he will dip his rear bike wheel in the Pacific Ocean before setting out for 50 days of riding — up to 80 miles a day— for a total of approximately 3,660 miles.
Once he reaches the East Coast, that bicycle wheel will be dipped in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Rye Beach.
To prepare for his long ride, Manning said he is training daily, taking longer rides around the region to boost his stamina and endurance. His wife, Jean, is also a cyclist and has taken on riding challenges.
For Manning, it’s another chance to see the country from his bike while helping others.
“I’ve ridden across the country before, supporting the American Heart Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge,” he said. “This time, it will be nothing like the challenges faced by our wounded warriors and their families every day.”
Manning is receiving donations from many supporters, including a recent $5,000 donation from the Halcyon Club in Derry.
Anyone wishing to donate to Manning’s ride can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wounded Warrior Project raises awareness and funding to help injured service members, and provide programs and resources to meet their needs. Visit woundedwarriorproject.org for information.