Acton man cycling from Boston to Philadelphia to help wounded service members, veterans

ACTON, Mass. — Chris Nyland may be a novice when it comes to biking.

“I don’t have any cycling experience. I didn’t even know how to change a tire until two weeks ago,” he said.

But that hasn’t stopped him from embarking on an epic and ambitious journey.

“I’m leaving on a solo bike ride that’s going to take me from downtown Boston to the Philly Navy Yard, in a span of five days, just over 400 miles,” Nyland said.

The 40-year-old Acton man is riding to raise awareness and money for Operation Hat Trick.

The New Hampshire-based non-profit supports the recovery of wounded service members and veterans.

It was founded in honor of two Navy Seals, including New Hampshire native Nate Hardy, who were killed in Iraq in 2008.

Since it’s inception Operation Hat Trick has raised $2.3 million.

Dot Sheehan, the organization’s founder and CEO , said some of the money raised goes towards paying for ice time for warrior ice hockey teams.

“Ice time’s $500 per hour and they can’t afford that and if they can’t get on the ice they lose the connection, the resilience,” she said.

During his ride Nyland will stop and visit with veterans to hear their stories and to showcase the work Operation Hat Trick is doing in the community.

Nyland has raised more than $21,000 for his ride.

“It’s really going to make a direct impact on the people that need it most right now, our nation’s heroes. People that have put it all on the line who come back with physical and mental injuries from combat and other areas of service,” he said.

Nyland will have a small support staff in an r-v along his journey.

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