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Mazda Foundation and Challenged Athletes Foundation Team Up for 620-Mile Bike Ride

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Dan Berchinski

Let’s start with a little role play: imagine that you are on a bicycle in San Francisco. Before you, the road stretches away down the coast, dotted with coastal towns. Over 600 miles away down that road is San Diego, and you are expected to make it there, using just the power of your body and the gears on your bike.

How hard of a ride would that be?

Now, add in two more things: you have only seven days to accomplish this task, and you have no legs.

That is the challenge that lies before people sponsored by the Challenged Athletes Foundation like Lieutenant Dan Berschinski, who lost both legs while on tour in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and led to a new skill: handcycling.

Berschinski and other physically challenged riders will be participating in the CAF’s 11th annual Million Dollar Challenge, a week-long, 620-miles journey down the California coast, raising over $1 million to support the nonprofit organization. For the third year in a row, the Mazda Foundation is sponsoring the event.

CAF CEO Ken Wheatley said of the partnership, “We are very grateful for the continued support from the Mazda Foundation that directly puts CAF’s mission into action. Individuals participating not only experience a ride of a lifetime, but through Mazda Foundation’s efforts, we are able to provide grants to individuals with physical challenges so they can pursue an active lifestyle through sport and physical fitness.”

The journey will take place from October 15th to the 21st, and will be making several stops along the fully-supported route to enjoy California’s coastal towns.