We all need some inspiration to help us be better people—or at least be a little nicer each day. When you need such a motivator, look no farther than Fort Collins Army veteran and mixed martial arts amateur Rustin Hughes.

This week, Hughes, whose right leg was amputated as a result of blood clots in 2014, is riding a handcycle and recumbent bike from Fort Collins to Omaha, Nebraska, along with fellow Army veteran Dustin Speakman. The Platte River Memorial Ride aims to raise money for the family of Steve Cisneros of Colorado Springs, a veteran and father who recently lost his wife to brain cancer; Hughes’ wife, Brandy, died of the disease in 2012. When he’s not pedaling 500-plus miles in the name of charity, Hughes also teaches boxing classes to amputees through his nonprofit B-Bold.

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Now, see? Bet you can manage to smile at a stranger today.

Kasey Cordell
Kasey Cordell
Kasey Cordell is the former Editorial Projects Director for 5280.