I received a little pub in "Her Voice". Not sure how I fit in that crowd, maybe it's because of the shaved legs? At any rate, David wrote a nice little article.
Over 1,500 consecutive days and counting
Kevin Brady of Vermillion is so into biking that he writes a blog about it: “The Life and Times of Biking Brady.” (http://bikingbrady.blogspot.com/) One portion of his blog’s web page is constantly changing. He keeps a running total of the days he has biked to work.
As of Feb. 20, 2013, he has ridden his bike 1,547 consecutive days. This long streak began on March 5, 2007.
A one-way trip from his home to his job at the University of South Dakota is about 10 blocks, not counting the diagonal crisscross path he takes through Prentis Park.
This habit could almost be described as a healthy addiction.
Kevin was interviewed for this story at a local restaurant. His mode of transportation to the interview site was by bicycle, naturally. By the end of the interview, it had begun to snow. He had listened to the forecasts; he was well dressed to pedal back to his job dodging both snowflakes and fourwheeled, gasoline-powered vehicles on Vermillion’s Dakota Street.
“I’ve been an active biker for about 16 years,” Kevin said, who grew up in the Wakonda area. “I was a runner, but I just can’t take the pounding of running anymore, so I turned to biking to fill that void of running.”
He’s able, he said, to perhaps go a day, maybe two, without taking a bike ride. Kevin, however, is hooked.
“I can’t go an extended time (without biking),” he said. “Here and there, I take a day off. Sometimes, I force myself to take a day off. There are days when there’s plenty to do around the house and you do it, but you get the itch to go to the Wellness Center or get out on the bike and ride.
“I don’t know … it (the urge to ride) just triggers inside of you after awhile, I think,” Kevin said.
Shortly after Kevin began biking, he decided to not pass up the opportunity to buy a high-quality, touring bicycle for a bargain price.
“That’s when I realized the world of difference that a high quality bike makes,” he said. “People wonder how you can bike 100 miles at a time, and it comes down to the quality of bike.”
He rides a traditional-style bike for his commutes to and from work.
For long distance rides, Kevin recently began using a recumbent bike to avoid back pain.
A recumbent bike provides more back support, and a rider doesn’t have to pull his or her head with that type of bike. “The reality is it’s easier – I call it riding the Barca Lounger, because you’re in a chair, and you’re looking straight ahead. To me, it’s a lot easier.”
One reason he began his blog was to spread the word about the benefits of bike riding. He began keeping a running tally on his blog of the number of consecutive days he biked to work as a way to encourage others to consider pedaling to work or other destinations more often.
He’s only let weather be an excuse not to ride to work once. That was years ago, when he tallied about 60 consecutive days of biking to his job.
Today, he’s prepared for any type of weather – heat, cold, rain and snow can’t stop him.
“I have the gear for all of it,” Kevin said. “Rain is probably my least favorite thing to ride in – especially if there’s a thunderstorm. I do not like lightning at all.”
Once spring arrives and the weather warms, he will begin training for long distance racing. Last year, he participated in Gut Check 2012. The Gut Check is an endurance race across South Dakota via SD Hwy 212 where riders have 48 hours to make the 412-mile journey from the South Dakota/Wyoming border east to the South Dakota/Minnesota border.
The purpose of this event is to raise funds and awareness for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).
“I’m planning to do the Gut Check again this year, and in getting ready for something like that, you can put in between 200 and 350 miles a week,” he said.
Besides the sheer pleasure he receives from his biking activity, Kevin said he also appreciates the health benefits that he gains from his “addiction.”
“I tend to try to watch what I eat, but I don’t always,” he said. “That’s kind of the beauty of cycling; I probably average about 2,400 calories a day, and especially if you are a dieter, you’d think I’d be gaining weight, but I don’t. I stay about the same all of the time, and if I want to lose weight, I’ll drop under that (2,400 calorie amount).
“But part of this does involve trying to eat the right stuff, especially when bicycling season comes around,” Kevin said. “If you don’t eat right, when you get out on a 50 to 60 mile ride, you’ll feel it.”
Biking activities that test one’s endurance, such as the Gut Check, also demand a high calorie intake to maintain enough energy. “On something like that, during a two-day span, you take in about 28,000 calories,” Kevin said. “But, the health benefits are a big plus.”
Biking has allowed him to stop taking lipids, as his cholesterol almost immediately was lowered to normal levels.
He’s lost track of the last time he needed to take a sick day from work, except for a time when he broke out in hives. “That was more of a very uncomfortable day rather than a sick day,” Kevin said, laughing.
Since there’s a good chance he hasn’t missed any work thanks to his healthy lifestyle, there’s more than a good chance that the number of consecutive days he’s biked from home to work has grown by the time you’re reading this. You can check on that growing number by logging on to bikingbrady.blogspot.com.