When I last wrote something in support of a ride in 2007, I described myself as a husband, a parent, a printer and a cyclist. In truth, nothing has really changed in the last 7 years.
Peggy and I have been happily married for 32 years. We have 2 wonderful children, David and Emma, both of whom have begun that journey that we call “life as an adult”. 3 years ago, David married Ayumi Okawa, who has been such a wonderful addition to our family!
As for me – I am still a printer, making a living with 20th century technology in the 21st century.
I’ve thought about doing THE RIDE for literally 20+ years, but in order for a journey like this to become a reality, there are many things that have to be in alignment: your personal life, your professional life, your financial situation, and of course, your health.
I am lucky in that I am married to a person who understands how important this is to me, and is willing to be apart from me for the better part of 2 months. She is truly my Soul Mate, and I can’t thank her enough. I love you, Peg!
My career has been a wonderful journey, and though we joke about being in a “dinosaur business”, I do love what I do. I currently work at Unimac Graphics, and work for someone, George Amann, who not only understands what this trip means to me, but has been completely supportive of it. The question I get asked most frequently is ” How did you get so much time off from work?” My answer is, “I have the best boss in the world!” Thanks, George.
Now for the matter at hand, cycling and my ride. I try to calculate how many miles I have ridden in the approximately 30 years that I have been riding seriously, and I would guess I am closing in, or have recently passed 100,000 miles. This is why at social gatherings, the conversations I find myself in generally gravitate to talking about riding.
I love riding, because it is simple. There’s no cheating, not at my level anyway, and the equation is simple: the harder you work, the more pain you can endure, the better rider you will become. As a spin instructor I’ve taken classes with says “You want to quit; You can’t quit; You don’t quit; You dig deeper” It is what I love most about cycling. Some friends and I do a one-day ride every year from Manhattan to Montauk. I think I have done it every year since 1990, about 165 miles. And at the end, after showering, and having a cold beer, there is no greater feeling of accomplishment that I know of. In the course of that day, which can take 11 hours, or 14 hours – it ALL depends on the wind – your emotional experiences range from “This is great” to “WHY am I doing this….again?” and physically from, “This feels really amazing!” to ” I can’t pedal one more stroke” but somehow — you finish. That is why I ride, I always find something new about who I am on those days, and it usually makes me a better person.
To get into shape for this trip I have been in the gym 5 days a week since December; including at least 3 spin classes a week. I hope to have put about 1,000 miles on the road before departing for the West Coast.