After rescuing his body from diabetes, retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Michael Schwartz wanted to use a newfound cycling love to raise money for military veterans.
“Three years ago I found out I was a diabetic and started riding a bicycle to lose weight and get back in shape. I starting think about how I could use my bike to help other people. I prayed about it, and the next thing I realized I was going to ride across the country for the Wounded Warrior Project and other veterans,” Michael said.
The Cycling for Warriors fundraiser began Sept. 1 in San Diego, Calif. and ends soon in Jacksonville, Fla. Schwartz and his brother Steve came through Milledgeville last weekend.
The brothers linked up with the Bicycling Club of Milledgeville the Friday before the Deep Roots Festival and visited the second-ever Deep Roots Charity Bike Ride starting at the Central State Hospital Pecan Grove Saturday morning. The Schwartz's toured the Georgia War Veterans Home also.
Schwartz was gracious for a bike club donation to the veterans’ cause.
The nationwide trip is a sponsored event of Freedom's Heart non-profit corporation formed by friends and supporters of the cause.
The younger of the two siblings never hesitated when he heard the mission. Steve had exercise bike experience, but only just warmed back up to the road six weeks prior to the coast-to-coast ride.
“The first time Michael told me what he was doing I said I wanted to go,” Steve said. “I didn't have a bike or anything.”
The two-month journey also allows two brothers a chance to reconnect.
“We've seen each other probably 30 days in 38 years, and now we've been together for 55 days,” Schwartz said. “It's been interesting getting to know him as a man rather than a little brother.”