I grew up riding my bike everywhere in Chicago's south suburbs. Of course, it was much safer then, but my craving to explore reigned supreme, and I often found myself 25 miles away from home on my Sears Free Spirit 10-speed.
But off I went to college, and I gained the obligatory Freshman Forty. Or more. I carried these pounds off to grad school as well. But I had an awakening around age 24, and dusted off my bike.
I haven't look back since. I have pedaled some 365,000 miles since 1983.
A couple of things really shaped my cycling "career," though:
- While in grad school, I decided to become an event director. I started the Ride Across INdiana (RAIN) in 1987, as well as the Hoosier Ultra-Marathon Overnight Ride (HUMOR). Of these, RAIN is still in existence.
- In 1991 I launched Hell Week Bicycle Adventures, consisting of base camps and supported tours. We're still going strong with them, and are approaching our 50th event ever.
- Seeing the Race Across America on ABC in the early-1980s inspired me. I wanted to know what it was like to push the human limit. You know what? I haven't found that limit yet. In 1993, Becky and I did RAAM on a tandem bicycle in 11d9h20m. Totally insane.
I ride everywhere. Although I do not race like I once did, I am "coming out of retirement" this October as a member on a 4-man team at The 508 in the Mojave Desert. You just can't pull the wheels out from somebody who loves to ride.
Upcoming Hell Weeks:
- Gator Country Hell Week XVII supported tour of Florida, 28th December through 4th January. Clermont FL.
- Texas Hell Week XXIV, 8th-15th March 2014, self-supported base camp in Hill Country. Fredericksburg TX.
- Zia Hell Week, new supported tour of New Mexico and Route 66. ALbuquerque NM.