Wendy Arnone will be a somewhat frustrated spectator when members of the UnitedHealthCare Cycling team lead a Friday lunch ride to recognize DreamBikes and the CEOs for Cycling program.
The leader of the Wisconsin insurance firm broke her arm in a crash on Memorial Day and will be in a sling rather than a saddle. Despite the collision with a car near Pilgrim Road, she remains an enthusiastic cyclist and advocate for the sport.
"One of the best ways to impact health care costs is to exercise, and cycling is a great way to do that," Arnone said. "As soon as I can get back out on my bike, I will."
Through CEOs for Cyclists, Arnone and other local business leaders hope to give others the opportunity to exercise via bicycle. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Bucyrus International Inc, Wisconsin Energy Foundation and UnitedHealthCare combined to collect bikes to donate to DreamBikes and provided $2,500 each to support the nonprofit business.
The bike shop employs youths from low-income areas, teaches them how to refurbish bikes and sells them at low cost to their neighbors.
"It gets bikes into the hands of underserved kids, and that promotes improved health," Arnone said.
The youths working through DreamBikes learn life lessons. The crash reinforced cycling lessons for the CEO.
"We live in a day today where drivers have the ability to be more distracted than ever, with cell phones, smart phones, texting, drinking," she said. "Cyclists need to make sure they always follow the rules of the road and maintain the highest level of safety possible, and to wear a helmet."
When the cyclists leave the UnitedHealthCare offices in Wauwatosa, Arnone will cheer on team members Hilton Clarke, Brad White, Adrian Hegyvary and Jake Keogh, and look forward to joining the peloton next year.