If You Slow Down, You Go Down
- 29 Aug 2016
"Life is like water skiing. If you slow down, you go down," has been my moto all my life. Edison once said the life is like riding a bicycle. If you slow down, you lose your balance. Both of these became more real than ever as I pedaled from San Diego, Ca to St Augustine, FL 3070 miles, last summer.
A bit of background you should know that will put the rest of this story into perspective: As a preschooler, I suffered a broken back, and while recovering, contracted TB. My parents were told I probably would not live to 20 or would be sickly all my life. At 59 I suffered a broken hip and was told I would never ride my motorcycle again and most likely not even my bicycle. At 74 I spent 5 weeks in ICU after a near fatal motorcycle accident. In 2014 I was diagnosed with Kidney cancer and lost my left Kidney, so I finally retired in 2015 at the age of 81, only to go to work for a friend in heating and air conditioning the next day.
I had talked about a cross country bicycle ride for over 30 years. My wife suggested that if I was going to complete it, I might want to consider sooner than later. She began researching what it would take for us to accomplish such an adventure. Among the details were the matters of nutrition and hydration. My wife was a licensed clinical nutritionist but sought the expertise of Infinit Nutrition US, since we were beginning the ride in August, with heat averaging 100+ degrees each day. She appreciated their willingness to take my age, one kidney, ride plan, and riding conditions into consideration when creating a custom hydration formula for me.
Pat planned my diet carefully and I used one scoop of my custom Infinit formulation per water bottle and consumed one bottle per hour. As demanding and exhausting as the ride was, I never suffered cramping or muscle soreness, even after riding an average of 71 miles a day, 6 days a week, in 100+ degree weather, uphill and down, with head winds that had me pedaling downhill. The effectiveness of the custom Infinit formula was great and convenience was a really an extra plus. Convenience store energy drinks are expensive, not balanced for endurance riding, and not very convenient when gas stations/stores were sometimes over 100 miles apart multiple days in a row. Storing that many bottles would have been a challenge traveling in a RV too. The custom formula Infinit created for me had everything I needed all in the one convenient scoop we just added to each water bottle. There was no messing with supplement packets or gels.
"At 81 I rode my bicycle from coast to coast to raise support and awareness for DIsabled American Veterans, the LiveStrong at the Y program, and the North American Mission Board because I had a lifelong goal to fulfill and wanted to be about more than just me. What's stopping you from achieving your goal or dream and helping a worthy cause while you do it? Achievement matters! Make it count!"
This was the adventure of a lifetime. The tales I can tell would fill a book. In fact, my journal is about 3 inches thick. We met so many wonderful people and a few not so nice. Riding from Baton Rouge to New Orleans a pickup truck swerved onto the shoulder and hit me with the mirror. Never even went down, and I have his mirror. We got to share our mission to raise support and awareness for Disabled American Veterans, the LiveStrong at the Y, and the North American Mission Board at numerous YMCA’s and churches along the way.
Our thanks to so many that helped make this ride possible. The folks at Infinit Nutrition are wonderful and so knowledgeable. We are so thankful for their help in the success of our ride.