Bike Adventures

Pete at start of Ragbrai 2007In the spring of 2007 what started out as exercise , soon became a series of bike adventures. I was having some physical problems and had found out that I was a type 2 diabetic . I was told that I could control the diabetes with oral medication(metformin) or with diet and exercise. I was put on the metformin initially. I then took a look at where my body was and where it had been in the past. In 2000 I was doing a lot of running and had run the Disney Marathon, at the time my weight was around 152 lb. When I started having my problems in the spring of 2007 my body weight was in the neighborhood of 210 lb. So not being one that likes taking medication I decided to get back in to a exercise program. I started by running again but to my amazement my knees were not able to handle the the stress. So my next move was toward the bike.
I started biking a couple of miles every day on the roads here in College Park and found that my knees were able to hold up very well. Well the rides started getting longer and soon I was heading out to the West Orange Trail here in the western part of Orange County. Then one day in May I was in Orange Cycle Works here in College Park getting something for the bike when I ran in to Ernie. Ernie proceeded to tell me that he was training for a bike ride across Iowa called Ragbrai. He told me he was riding with a group on weekends and one night during the week. I was invited to ride with them. I started riding on the weekends with Ernie, Dick and Pat and riding by myself during the week.
As the weeks started going by, the mileage started adding up. I was doing 50 to 75 mile rides a day. With the mileage going up the weight was coming down. I lost 20 lbs during the first 7 weeks.
Towards the end of June I was invited by Ernie, Dick and Pat to join them on the Ragbrai trip in late July. Now I was training for the Ragbrai trip, a 500 mile bike ride across Iowa. My rides started getting longer and the weight came down to right around 180 lbs. By the end of June my daily blood sugar numbers were in line and I was able to come off of the Metformin.
Leading up to the Ragbrai ride I started having ideas of riding across the United States. I started doing research on the internet and found Adventure Cycling Association that had bike maps for all parts of the United States. The idea of me riding across the USA was started many years ago when I was younger and saying one day I would like to try that.


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