I discovered biking the month I got my driver’s license in 1958. After my “new” secondhand 3-speed was converted to nine, I started doing day trips and occasional hostel weekends with much older and experienced Cycling Enthusiasts of Philadelphia bike club along with best friend Rich Pollini and his younger brother Ray. At the time, adult bikers were considered and treated as odd and retarded. I raced in the 1960’s with Rich, cousin Rick von Gerbig, Fred DeLong and The Century Road Club of America in PA, NJ and NY. I continued to bike in my 6 years at Penn State and then In Minnesota after moving there 1970. I commuted to work by bike for 26 years, made every non-winter vacation a cycling one, promoted biking, organized club events, lead tours, collected and rode old steel bikes, biked for the MS Society, and just enjoyed the great outdoors. In 56 years, I’ve biked in 49 U.S. States, 9 Canadian Provinces & Territories, 15 European countries, and a few places in Asia totaling over 500,000 miles.
I am a believer in “Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without. One of my still-being-ridden bikes has 118,000 miles on it and four others have gone over 40,000. My latest acquisition is an early ‘60’s British-made Viking, the same maker as my first 10-speed in 1960.
While getting slower at age 72-1/2 (as of 9-12-14), I still bike over 10,000 miles most years and do regular Century Rides (1,066 to date). I’ve done 33 Doubles (200 miles in one day) and one Triple, not as many as my LA-area California friends but still respectable. Since retiring from full time work as a physical scientist in 1996, I’ve done “coast” rides to or from one coast or the other, coast-to-coast, and up and down the coasts, using Adventure Cycling’s mapped-out routes whenever possible. All this has added up to 2,695 nights (7.38 years) away from home. In the winter season, I hang up the bikes and go Nordic skiing with a local North Star Ski Touring Club. I also track those miles, 15,544 (25,026 km) since starting in 1972. Even though I’ve done Route 66, the Yukon, Alaska, New Zealand, and International Falls, I hope the best is yet to come.