Thirteen Surgeries and a Bike

Whatever depression or anxiety I feel when things at start to build up for me, it can’t be anything close to the PTSD, depression, and physical limitations Sergeant Lukkes suffered after returning from Iraq with severe brain, shoulder, arm and leg injuries from a roadside bomb.

When I’m in a funk, I love to get on my bike. While biking and for the rest of the day, my mind is different, lighter, and the world is a better place.

So it’s no surprise that for wounded veterans like Chad, who underwent thirteen surgeries, getting on a bike and training and racing helps them achieve sound mind and body.

Sergeant Chad Lukkes, image courtesy of CBS Minnesota


For Chad, and many like him, that all starts with getting a nice bike. There is a great non-profit called VetBikes that builds and fixes quality bikes of all kinds to help veterans ride, train, and compete.

“This heavy, noisy, sloppy Magna from Walmart really turned my life around” said no one, ever.  I love that VetBikes gives them real road, cyclocross, or mountain bikes rather than department store clunkers.

From “We are very short of drivetrain and shifting parts (preferably a Shimano 105 level of quality or higher, SRAM and Campagnolo too!), road wheel sets, and just about any other quality bicycle parts.”

image from Twitter

A Recent Vet Ride – image from Twitter

With a nice new bike from VetBikes, Sergeant Lukkes is now training for London’s Invictus Games for wounded veterans, which will be held on the Olympic Grounds from Sept. 10th to the 14th.

Says his wife Karen: “He looks forward to things. He’s excited, you can see this little fire in him.”


Chad Lukkes, on the right. Photo from Facebook.

Action: If you have a nice frame or bike parts laying around, think about putting them in the mail to VetBikes. Take a tax donation, clear out your bike closet/workshop/garage, and help veterans like Chad.


A. Velocutioner

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