Bicyclist rides across country for suicide awareness

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – After multiple failed attempts at trying to take his own life, a man from Massachusetts is riding a cross country bike trip to raise awareness about suicide.

He stopped in East Lansing today.

Daniel Hurd is a Navy veteran, serving two tours in the Middle East.

He’s also struggled with depression and PTSD, which led to suicide attempts.

That’s why he’s taking those hard times and turning them into motivation for others.

“I’m doing 25,000 miles for 3 years and I’m currently just shy of 16 months and 12,000 miles and state 26,” said Hurd.

It’s a journey that Hurd never expected to be on.

“A friend of mine got me on a bicycle July of 2017, so coming up on two years, after my third suicide attempt, and I was planning my fourth, unfortunately,” said Hurd.

It was that moment that changed his life forever.

“I kept going and after my third ride I rode 166 miles in a weekend and fell in love with it,” said Hurd.

Hurd is almost halfway done with his cross country ride, beginning in Plymouth, Massachusetts, currently in East Lansing, and ending in Seattle, Washington.

“I have a lot of different things to connect with people with, and unfortunately I had to go through all those things, but it made me so I can connect with more people on this journey,” said Hurd.

During each stop, he visits other veterans that he served with and talks about his experiences in hopes of helping others overcome the hard times they’ve been through.

“I tell them my story and get them to realize that it’s okay to talk about stories,” said Hurd.

The end goal: to raise awareness and help lower the suicide rate in our country.

“It’s a journey of life,” said Hurd. “The bike journey has its ups downs you know, flat spots, stagnant points, you know, meeting new people, connecting with people, exchanging different things and helping in different ways. To show people that we can still make a difference, even on a bicycle, to help save lives and raise suicide awareness.”

Hurd says that in the beginning of his journey, he originally planned to tent in each state, but has been fortunate enough to stay with host families the majority of the time.

If you’d like to follow along for the rest of his ride, click here.

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