GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Dozens of wounded military veterans and their supporters will hit the road on their bicycles next week for the Great Lakes Challenge.

The 500-mile ride from the Twin Cities to the Chicago area is a collaboration involving UnitedHealthcare and the non-profit organization Project Hero, which assists veterans and first responders affected by injury or PTSD. Riders utilize traditional road bikes, as well as hand cycles, recumbent bikes, and adaptive bicycles.

The Great Lakes Challenge begins with a special send-off on Monday, August 7 from UnitedHealthcare Headquarters in Minnetonka. They'll then bicycle 63 miles to Rochester on the first day. The route will take the cyclists through La Crosse, Madison, and Chicago, before ending in Evanston, Illinois on August 14.

Veterans are encouraged to join the ride anywhere along the route on a single-day basis. Sign up forms and more details are available on