Darrel and Roseann Mooney bike from Washington state to D.C. for an organization called Cause.
Imagine riding 50 to 70 miles every day crossing the Rockies, the Cascades, and the Appalachians on a tandem bicycle. That's what a pair of retired dentists decided to do.
Darrel and Roseann Mooney say they aren't athletes, yet they're nearing the end of a journey that has taken them across the United States on a bicycle built for two.
"It's just one little bike ride after another, day after day," Roseann said.
It's all to raise money for wounded members of the military. The couple, who met in the Army, have been collecting money and donations during their travels to give to an organization called Cause, which stands for Comfort for America's Uniformed Services. According to its website, Cause organizes "programs that support recreation, relaxation and resiliency" for members of the military undergoing rehabilitation and medical treatment.
A scheduled stop brought the Mooneys to Waynesboro, where they arrived to a fanfare of local leaders and Fishburne Military School students standing at attention.
"I don't think we've ever had this kind of reception riding our bike in," Roseann said.
The two started in Fort Lewis, Washington, in June and will finish in Washington, D.C., next week. The Mooneys' trek is for a purpose very near and dear to their hearts.
"They have a presence in every major hospital in the United States and Germany," Roseann said of Cause, "and are there for those wounded warriors that are in need for a little bit of healing of their spirit, not so much their body."
Cause provides comfort items like televisions, Gameboys, massages, and even a lending library. The Mooneys aim to raise $100,000 for the organization - and with more than $90,000 collected, they feel confident.
But the Mooneys say the love and support they see from everyday people along the way is humbling.
"We had one incident where a guy had his pickup in a gas station and he just was running after us with his ashtray just full of coins and just wanted to donate to us," Roseann said.
The Mooneys expect to arrive in D.C. next Sunday. They'll be escorted by 40 fellow cyclists, including some wounded warriors.
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