Reflections on the Year – 2023


Another year of riding. Another year of life. Plenty of great and memorable experiences but maybe most importantly, no crashes. In no particular order, I present my

(In no particular order)

  • The Citrus Tour (MS-150)
  • Knotts Island Ferry Loop
  • Olivia’s Ride
  • Maryland Cycling Classic
  • Rooster Racing
  • Intracoastal Waterway Century
  • Alpine Loop Gran Fondo
  • Working on the Chain Gang
  • Hurricane Mountain Road
  • Tour de Suisse

10. THE CITRUS TOUR. The MS-150 in Championsgate, Florida started well. I rode solo but found some groups as well. Cramps got me very bad starting around Mile 60 and almost knocked me off my bike around Mile 95. I limped to the finish and made a six-hour century but hurt so bad I rode 25 on Sunday instead of 50.

Start line

9. KNOTTS ISLAND FERRY LOOP. It was a route that I drew with RideWithGPS and then rode it. I found gravel (oops) and wasn’t sure about parking at the ferry but had a glorious 50-mile ride from North Carolina into southeast Virginia then back to Knotts Island and a 40-minute ferry ride across the Currituck Bay.

Knotts Island Ferry

8. OLIVIA’S RIDE. Formerly Ride Home Roads, this event, now known as Olivia’s Ride, was also Ben King’s retirement ride. Very nice metric century ride.

Ben and Barry

7. MARYLAND CYCLING CLASSIC. The second year of this race and my second time attending it. Unlike last year I did not volunteer but was able to ride before the race and to just be a fan.

My perfect artwork

6. INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY CENTURY. Went to Melbourne, Fla. and discovered this gem out of Cocoa Village. I fell in with a group like the Old Cranks (Warrenton, Va.) but they were all from the Space Coast Freewheelers, the group sponsoring the ride. I felt really good to the point that I thought about riding off on my own and dropping the guys I was with but we had already formed a cohesive group at that point and I would have been a jerk.

It was also Halloween weekend

5. ALPINE LOOP GRAN FONDO. This cancer-raising event has become my go-to century of the year. Tired from a late night in Pittsburgh the day before my body wasn’t primed for a long ride. Instead I rode the Metric Century (65 miles) and probably became the first rider in history to have ridden all five of their routes.

Chasing Buggy

4. CHAIN GANG. I went to Maryland’s Eastern Shore with a group from Prince William Cycling Club. With limited or moderate traffic but wide shoulders where one needn’t ride on the roadway, the place and time was perfect to teach my group of eight how to ride in a chain gang (double rotating pace line). It was fun and efficient. And fun.

On the ferry

3. ROOSTERS IN LUXEMBOURG. I joined old friends and met new ones riding with Rooster Racing in Luxembourg. And with Fränk Schleck.

Gusty, Barry, Fränk, Brian

2. HURRICANE MOUNTAIN ROAD. I drove to Mount Washington for the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclim but bad weather forced the cancellation of the race on Saturday and again on the rain date on Sunday. But I was able to ride up Hurricane Mountain Road (a very difficult climb) and that, in itself, was very satisfying.

Hurricane Mountain Road

1. TOUR DE SUISSE. It was to be a very fun day watching Stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse, and it was, but it turned out to be bittersweet. It was the last race for and one of the last photos taken of Gino Mäder who would die from injuries in a crash about one hour later.

Gino Mäder, in red, is drinking from a blue water bottle

What wasn’t included: The Blueridger loop in Marshall; the Abandonded Tunnel in Breezewood; my annual ride from Somerset to Punxsutawney with a stop in Northern Cambria (permanently finished); a ride to Gettysburg.

And for the rest I present these tibits:


Not even close. British Airways lost my bike at London Heathrow even while the entire time I was tracking it using an Apple AirTag. They ignored my calls and tweets for five days and blew my cycling trip to Switzlerland. CNN writer, Julia Buckley, contacted me to assist but was one day late. She still followed up with an article which I hoped would embarrass British Airlines into some small compensation. It did not. Passenger uses AirTag to track the bike his airline lost

British Airways, Heathrow Airport


Not even close. Finnair. Not only did British Airways lose my bike (later delivered) but they canceled my return leg from Helsinki – first from Helsinki to Copenhagen and then from Copenhagen to Washington-Dulles. They did nothing to reschedule me but I did get booked on Finnair from Helsinki to London. Great lounge in Helsinki and a great flight.



One week of not riding and on the day I was leaving, Ben offered me his bike to “go ride some hills.”

Ben’s Bike – Notice the Ride for Jamie sticker


On a group ride with PWCC, I dropped back with the second group because it’s all work up front and a party in the back. As we split into groups I noticed a rider in between the groups. I asked Renee who that was and she told me she was a new rider and no one knew her. So I rode up to the new rider and said “Nobody rides alone.” So glad I did. Found out Jill is a Penguins and Steelers fan from Pa.

Last Monday night ride of the year. It may have been Halloween-ish


Fosters Grille, Manassas, Va. Like Cheers, where everybody knows your name. On November 30 when I hosted a Movember ride, we all stopped for lunch and my friends were all amazed that everybody knew my name. Literally.

Suzanne, Stu, Sharon, Carla, Sean


Our last group ride of the season in Manassas. There were six of us on a chilly night. Once we hit the slight uphill of Godwin we discovered a natural break in the group. It could have been three and three or maybe four and two as four of us rode ahead to Wawa to wait and regroup. I knew that John had dropped back and I told our three to ride ahead as I would wait for John and Steve. Steve, as every man would, told the group to go one without him as he didn’t want to hold anyone up. I told him that nobody rides alone. I expected that the three of us would stay together and three would go on ahead as it was getting dark. I was astonished that all six of us stayed together and rode at the speed of Steve.


Moo-Thru, Remington, Virginia. Ideally placed next to a park where one can finish a ride and have a scoop.

Runners up: Scottish Highlands Creamery, Oxford, Md.; South Mountain Creamery, Middletown, Md.

South Mountain Creamery – Middletown, Md.
This was an oasis on a mountain ride and much needed.


I didn’t ride on New Years Day. It was the first New Years Day I didn’t ride since 2018. But it wasn’t a hangover. It was Covid. I missed the last three days in 2022 and the first three days in 2023. Six consecutive days over two years without a ride was the most that I missed since 2018 when I missed 53 straight for knee replacement.


My standard is a minimum of 10 miles to be a “ride.” Traveling with my 91-year-old mother to Florida, I found the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. I wanted to tell her to drive my car 10 miles then pull over and I will find her but I knew she would freak out at my suggestion. So I found a pull-off, told her I’d be right back in 5-6 minutes, and then rode over and back across the viaduct. Total miles: 1.2 (2 km)

Linn Cove Viaduct


That would be my private version of the Sea Gull Century. Total miles: 102.9 (165.6 km). Varied slightly from the official route because I started and ended at the Hampton Inn Hotel, Fruitland.

And all I got was a T-shirt


When the date was announced, Sept. 23, I knew I would have a conflict. I had a class reunion at New Brighton H.S. and a cancer charity event. I could not do both but didn’t want to miss either. My compromise was to attend the informal event the night before the reunion in New Brighton then to drive to Harrisonburg. Va. for the Gran Fondo. By splitting my time I gave both events a half effort. I regretted missing my actual reunion. I could have sent the Gran Fondo a benefit check and told them see you next year. I skipped school but immediately regretted it like I did when I was a kid (which may or may not have happened).


I met some friends at their home in Turku, Finland, and we rode 8.6 miles (13.8 km) to the center of Turku and back. We rode with their seven-year-old daughter, Sara, who was amazing. We didn’t go fast but this was one of my best rides of the year – Traveling at the speed of Sara. — 7.6 mph (12.2 kph)

Sara and mom


I found the flat streets in Corolla, North Carolina, to my liking, combined with few stops signs. When I couldn’t go on long rides on vacation because we had family with us, short faster rides were best for me. On Wednesday I rode 11 miles (17.7 km) at 20.2 mph (32.5 kph). And on our last evening before everyone left I went out at 6:30 p.m. and rode 21.7 mph (35 kph) over 4.1 miles (6.6 km). That was my fastest ever speed measured over distance. Solo. And not involving a descent. I’ve gone faster over longer distances but always involving some mountain descending. This was all human-powered.

Long (3 miles) streets in Corolla


House in the Alps, Switzerland. No heating but it had a fireplace – that I couldn’t figure out how to open the door on it. I froze and was hungry. I had brought Pop Tarts as gifts for my friends in Finland but ended up eating them to survive. I came here to ride my bike but had no bike to ride. The views were stunning but no bike. I spent one night then moved on to Lake Lucerne which was very comforting and what I needed.

House in the Alps


For many riders a major achievement is a Metric Century. The Century is 100 of something and in metric terms that is 100 kilometers or 62.14 miles. This year I had 27 rides of a metric century distance including at least one in every month of the year.

Strava Trophy Case


And forget the metric century and go “full.” I rode three centuries this year. Two were registered events, the MS-150 in Florida and the Intracoastal Waterway, and the third, the Sea Gull Century, I was registered but I rode one day early to beat the weather.

The MS-150, Championsgate, Fla.


Only 10 states and one district. Here’s the short list: Virginia. Maryland. West Virginia. Pennsylvania. Florida. Delaware. North Carolina. New Hampshire. Massachusetts, Maine. District of Columbia.

My one trip into D.C. was to ride the last 30 miles on the C&O Canal Towpath with my
brother-in-law and sister. They rode from Pittsburgh over six days.


In addition to the U.S.A. I rode in six other countries this year. I in Switzerland, not on my bike but one lent to me by Ben. And the rest in order, Luxembourg, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Finland.

Near Valkenburg, Holland


With an all-day forecast of rain for the Sea Gull Century on Saturday, perfect sunny weather on Friday, plus cheaper weekday rates, I decided to go to Salisbury one day early and I rode the Sea Gull Century by myself. I was also able to find the horses on Assateague Island. Often they are moved to the southern end to avoid the crowds of this event.

Assateague Island


This is not a good thing. My Whoop band measures recovery but on June 17 it measured my recovery at one percent. I assume that it doesn’t go to zero. This was an accumulation of sleep deprivation and stress. I flew to Zurich but my bike stayed in London. I was checking on it and tweeting every few hours. I wasn’t sleeping well. The day before I took a train to Frankfurt then met some of the Roosters Racing team. My bike was supposedly in transit to Luxembourg. But stress effects recovery and it caught up to me here.

1% Recovery – Not good


Strava says that out of more than 95,000,000, I was in the Top One Percent of all users for activity, measured in hours. Maybe I’m slow, that’s all.

Top 1%


Missing for one week in Europe, my bike and I met up again in Luxembourg.


It’s my second year of wearing my Whoop Band and I am still learning. Amount and quality of sleep effects recovery. But so does mental stress. When my bike was missing while I was in Switzerland I never had a recovery that was normal. Once the bike was returned to me my recovery improved.

On none of these days did I ride the day before
Recovery was in part due to sleep or lack thereof
but mostly due to stress of my bike missing


Showed up for a Thursday night ride and the group leader had no clue who I was but still determined there would be a fast group and a slow group then pointed to me to say that I would be in the slow group. Very rude. I rode on the front or second wheel for much of the ride until I came to my bail out point. Then I rode back to him and put my hand on his shoulder. When I got his attention (a trick I learned from Frank), I told him that I did not appreciate that at all. He stammered and tried to say mistaken identity but it was rude no matter what. I never went back.


At Olivia’s Ride on June 9 in Ashland, Va., I saw USA Cycling Women’s Road Champion (2022), Emma Langley, riding away. Although I was wearing flip flops, I jumped on my road bike and caught her and, with permission, took a selfie.

Emma Langley, USA Women’s Road Cycling Champion


On Christmas Eve I went for a ride with Tim. The roads were wet when I started so I put the Ass Saver on my bike. I did not lock it into place as it was being difficult. When we got to Manassas, I noticed it missing. Rather than finish a loop Tim suggested we double back and try to find it. We did. We didn’t. I miss you. 🙁

A cute temporary fender. More temporary than I expected.


Four days from June 12-15 when British Airways lost my bike at Heathrow Airport. Have I mentioned this before? Spanning 2022 and 2023 it was six days without a ride from December 29, 2022 – January 3, 2023 when I was sick. During those four days in Switzerland I had to see views like this:

Lake Lucerne – Ferry from Beckenried to Gersau
Didn’t get to ride this as planned but I got to see it.


Eighty days from July 5 through September 22. September 23 was a chilly rainy day in Harrisonburg, Va. and our ride with Jeremiah Bishop was canceled. If I had a longer streak going I would have ridden in the rain and got soaked but my bike and body thanked me for taking a day off. I doubt that I ever ride 1,103 days again like I did from 2019-2021.


First day of riding with the Roosters in Luxembourg, I went on a 20-mile ride before our 48-mile group ride. I was also one week off the bike because, British Airways. Our last climb before lunch at a vineyard, I started cramping. I had to back off the pace and let the group gap me. Fränk Schleck saw me, doubled back and then rode beside me with his hand on my saddle pushing me up the climb.

Julie and Barry at lunch, Schengen, Luxembourg
Feeling better after a puch up the climb – SMH
Photo Credit: Lisa W.


I smelled smoke at first thinking a truck must have really laid down some rubber. As I turned the corner next to Colgan High School I could see lots of black smoke about 200 meters ahead. And then I could see the fire. I was right next to the Coles Fire Department so I dismounted and rang the doorbell. When a firefighter came to the door I told him “There’s a truck on fire at Hoadly and 234 – you all may want to come out and play.” One firefighter jogged out to the street, looked, and then ran back inside. Within 60 seconds four doors on the building were opened and at least three trucks went to put out the fire. You’re welcome. Surely a 911 call had been made before I went to the fire station. Why such a lag in response?

Truck on fire – Va. Rte 234 (Dumfries Road and Hoadly Road)


Weather for Mount Washington for the MWARBH on August 19. Sixty one mph winds, 39.9℉ (4.4℃), with a wind chill of 26℉ (-3.3℃) and more than one inch of rain. In addition to the bad weather, four people had to be rescued off the mountain the day before and emergency services were thin. It was the right call.


Is there really a best gravel? But I enjoyed this winter club ride in Fauquier County, Va. Except for the gravel.

Gravey winery


On August 30 I rode 30 miles on the C&O Canal Towpath to meet my sister and brother-in-law. Much of the C&O is simply forest but one of the prettiest sections is near Great Falls.

Great Falls


Uh-oh. On my Currituck Ferry ride I unexpectedly found 2 1/4 miles (3.6 km) of heavy gravel in North Carolina. No flats. No mechanicals. No crashes. All good.

Gravel. Not my friend.


Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. The Hart’s Turkey Farm dinner used to be a real highlight of the hillclimb. Five hundred riders (staggered) under one tent and a delicious turkey dinner that rivals Grandma’s best Thanksgiving dinner. Sadly, that has given way to a sandwich. 🙁

Wait. Looks like ham.


If I could have a ferry on every ride I would. The Historic White’s Ferry at Leesburg remains closed. I missed planned rides on Lake Zurich and Lake Lucerne. But I was still able ride the Bellevue-Oxford Ferry in Maryland three times and the Knotts Island Ferry in North Carolina, once. It’s no coincidence that two of my top ten rides include a ferry ride.

Currituck Ferry arriving Knotts Island, N.C.


Covered bridges are cool. I usually hit up to eight of them in Bedford Co., Pa. and did go back to the three great ones in Frederick Co., Md. I found Jacksons Mills Covered Bridge near Breezewwod and then found Kings Covered Bridge in Somerset Co., Pa.

Kings Covered Bridge, Somerset Co., Pa.


In October while I was on a ride in Florida I was pretty excited to see a guy that I rode with for six days in Luxembourg in June with Rooster Racing. When I greeted him he had no clue who I was.

Keith from the Roosters Although we rode in a group of nine for six days in Luxembourg four months ago – he did not remember me


Nobody should hear those words “You’ve got cancer.” When I heard them in 2009 I wanted (1) to live and (2) to ride again. I never tracked miles much before 2008 or 2009 when bike computers became readily available and have no idea how far I have ridden in my lifetime. But after cancer, which is a new lease on life, I know every mile. And on July 24 I went over 100,000 miles cancer-free.


Somewhere in Fauquier County, Virginia

Warrenton, Va., Jan. 20, 2023


But still SHARE THE ROAD (Bikes may use full lane)

Lake Wales, Fla. Mar. 18, 2023


Almost every moment on a Roosters Racing trip. But the funniest was at our first team meeting. Danny had everybody stand up. “Now sit down if you have shaved legs.” All the women and the majority of men sat down. For those who didn’t, – BUFFALO! (Rufas shaved his legs that night.)

Danny holding Buffalo court


Late in the season I rode to Manassas for a group ride and came home in the dark. Then on Halloween I started out at 6:45 a.m. in Altamonte Springs, Fla. It was dark and misty. And my lights work. Two years ago I was almost hit at night in a parking lot in South Carolina. Has a pleasant conversation with an apologetic driver who told me he didn’t see my lights. I believed him and upgraded my visibility. Still don’t want to go far in the dark but I am comfortable for an hour or so if I have to.

Warm and misty


These don’t come along often, in fact they are very rare, but on our last day in Luxembourg, our support driver, Jean-Claude passed three of us and waited to see what would happen. I jumped on his wheel but Paul, and riding with me, did not. Jean-Claude sped up and I sped up. We passed a few riders on that ride. We both greatly enjoyed this little used trick by cyclists. When we caught the front group, JC was beaming with delight.


On September 16, I started a Metric Century ride with only 42% charge on my Wahoo. (User error.) That would have been enough but I had a 90-minute pause to watch a softball game. If I turned off the Wahoo it would have created a ride and when I resumed I would have had a second ride. I could have joined the rides together later. I decided to ride as far as I could until it shut down. At that point I would have turned on my phone app and recorded the second part and then joined those two if it came to that. No need. I pulled into Mod Pizza in Purcellville and before I ordered asked if they had a USB-C charger. They did. I went from 3% charge when I pulled in to 50% when I left. Saved the day.

Mod Pizza, Purcelleville, Va.


Because it was a documentary, Schleck vs. Contador, I had just watched, Tour de France Winner (2011), Andy Schlect, asked me who was better, him or Alberto Contador. Hmm. How to answer honestly. “You?,” I asked/said.

Andy chuckled and said, “No, he was the better rider but I’m the better person.”

And to this I whole-heartedly agree.

Andy and Barry


10,071 miles – fifth straight year of 10,000+ miles. The first time, 2019, was the most rewarding because I had never reached 10,000 before. But this year started with COVID and was interrupted in Europe with a missing bike. There were periods of doubt but as the end of year got closer I knew I could finish the year on a positive note.


There is a slight discrepany on distance between the two fitness tracking programs, Strava and RideWithGPS. My Wahoo uploads the same data points to both programs and if they aren’t exact they are usually within 0.1 miles. But over 10,000 miles there can be slight differences. I’m not worried. I have a much longer history as a RideWithGPS user so I defer to their data for my annual mileage. The difference in mileage, 10,074 v 10,071 is due to some walking that was also recorded in Strava.



I was excited when I captured my first KOM (King of the Mountain) a couple of years ago. Then I chased them. Now I longer chase them – if they happen, they happen. Also, I try to give more Kudos than I receive.

I may have to start giving kudos to indoor rides and weight lifting to even out the kudo discrepancy

And that’s a wrap on another year. No spills, crashes, or falls although I came upon one crash in Olivia’s Ride, Ben King’s retirement ride on June 10. For a year of safe riding, I am very thankful. Ride safe my friends!

Reflections on the Year – 2022


Another year of riding. Another year of life!

Slowly, many of the events that disappeared in 2020 started to come back in 2021, and even more in 2022 as some of those old ones resurfaced. Some never did. But whether or not there were events, I rode. Above all, it was another year of living. Another year of life.


Events that have become regular on my schedule disappeared this year. The Livestrong Challenge, after a two-year hiatus, returned but on the same date as Phil’s Cookie Gran Fondo so I could not attend. Sadly, I had no involvement with the Texas4000. The Ride to Conquer Cancer (Richmond, Va.) and the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo (Harrisonburg, Va.), but closed this year, and are uncertain whether they will return in 2023. And I think my annual Somerset to Punxsutawney (Pa.) rides are all in the past.

(In no particular order)

  • Pan-Florida Challenge
  • After ‘while Crocodile
  • Searching for Aurora Teagarden
  • A New Ferry Ride
  • Maryland Cycling Classic
  • Sea Gull Century
  • Hanging with Mr. Miller
  • Phil’s Cookie Gran Fondo
  • No Longer Worst

10. PAN-FLORIDA CHALLENGE. In March I went to Fort Myers, Fla. for a two-day cancer ride. On Saturday we rode 100 miles from Fort Myers to Sebring. On Sunday we rode 105 miles from Sebring to Tampa. All of it was into a headwind. I was very anxious to see how I would do with back-to-back centuries in late winter. And I passed the test.


9. AFTER ‘WHILE CROCODILE (only because I’ve used See You Later Alligator before). After the Pan-Florida Challenge, I met a 75-year-old friend and we rode in Shark Valley in the Everglades among the alligators. I love this ride. Not so sure that she did.

Just my friend

8. SEARCHING FOR AURORA TEAGARDEN. After I rode the Glimcher Keystone MS ride in State College, Pa. I drove to Montour Falls (near Watkins Glen), New York. In this Hallmark-looking town in the Finger Lakes, I was looking for the main street with a waterfall cascading down the hillside at the end of the street. This is the setting for the Hallmark Channel’s Aurora Teagarden series. I found the town. I found the street. But no waterfall. It was dry. But I had a wonderful 45-mile ride topped off by meeting some Lowmaster cousins for the first time.

On that hillside is supposed to be a waterfall

7. A NEW FERRY. Every good ride needs a ferry and I didn’t have one since the parties were still fighting over Historic White’s Ferry in Leesburg, Va. / Poolesville, Md. But I went to Maryland’s Eastern Shore and found one near St. Michael’s / Easton. The Bellevue-Oxford Ferry crosses the Tred Avon River and is absolutely delightful. In all, I made five trips to ride the ferry.

The Talbot, Bellevue, Md.

6. MARYLAND CYCLING CLASSIC. The first UCI race in North America came to Baltimore County and I was a course marshal. I pre-rode the course in northern Baltimore County two days prior and ran into EF-Education First. I also got to chalk a message on the pavement for Toms Skuijins.

Magnus Cort-Neilsen gives me a thumbs up as the team rolls by

5. SEA GULL CENTURY. I was riding along minding my own business for 90 miles even thinking this would be my last Sea Gull Century. Then I passed a young lady who was struggling to finish her first century. For the next 45 minutes, I had a purpose and that was to see her cross the finish line. Up to that point, the ride was somewhat boring then all of a sudden it had a purpose. The best rides don’t all have the fastest speeds or the longest distance. Sometimes it’s the unexpected things that make a ride great.

The Finish

4. HANING WITH MR. MILLER I had gone to Phil’s Cookie Gran Fondo and purposely decided that on Saturday I would not ride with the fast kids but save some energy for Sunday. Our group went 30 minutes later, I picked up a goathead or two and flatted, and then just turned around. Being the first one back for lunch gave me the chance to chat with NBA Hall of Fame player, Reggie Miller. (He said don’t call him “Mr. Miller.”)

Barry and Reggie Miller

3. PHIL’S FONDO. After a three-year hiatus, I was able to go to California, thinking it may be my last time. But I am always treated so nicely there and I had a ton of PRs on all the climbs. Even hitched my ride to the World Tour Pro when Rick Zabel went by pulling six other riders.

Mulholland Drive – The rider farthest up the road on the left is pro rider Rick Zabel

2. NO LONGER WORST. After Phil’s Fondo I drove to Santa Barbara looking for Gilbraltor Road. It was in 2018 that I finished dead last in the Hillclimb Worlds (I do have my reasons). I was able to ride up the climb in one hour, taking a whopping 12 minutes off my performance from four years ago.

1. MWARBH. There is nothing to compare. And after almost 10 years off I came back for a second time in two years, this time with my granddaughters. So very special.

This is the hardest bicycle climb in the world. And having my daughter and granddaughters dressed as chickens – priceless.

Hi Chickens!!! MWARBH


I rode 1,098 straight days of at least 10 miles. That streak ended on January 3 with a foot of snow. But it freed me up so that I didn’t ride just to keep the streak going because I rode in truly miserable conditions the past three years just to keep the streak going.

A foot of snow on January 3


On August 22, I took my grandson, Aiden to Williamsport, Pa. to watch the Little League World Series. It was an incredible day that was better than any day on the bike.

Aiden, in blue, watching Japan and Latin America (Nicaragua)


On November 19, “riding” a new streak since I hadn’t missed a day since August 22, I was traveling from South Carolina to Florida. I hoped to ride somewhere but planned to meet John Andre and his family for dinner. I ran out of time. We went straight to dinner which was at the Garden in the Land Pavillion at EPCOT in Walt Disney World.

A surprise visit to EPCOT


I gave up a day of riding to drive to Pittsburgh with my daughter and two grandsons to watch the Steelers play.


My Trek Pilot, which was destined for the landfill with a cracked chain stay, came back to life. I paid Ruckus Composites, in Portland, Oregon, for carbon repair, and rode 2,100 miles since I got it back.

Old bike and it made it up Mt. Washington again


Annabelle’s bike was dangerous so when we returned from New Hampshire we went to the Bike Lane in Reston and got her a Trek FX.


I was enjoying riding with a group called the Old Cranks out of Warrenton, Va. But I didn’t like to drive to their start location opting instead to ride in. Twice I rode 15 miles to make the 10:00 a.m. departure time only to discover they rolled out at 9:55 a.m. And yes, I had responded that I would be there. I stopped riding with them because someone doesn’t know what a published start time means.


While in Santa Monica at an In-N-Out Burger, I paid a 12-year-old one dollar to watch my bike while I went in and ordered. (His dad was with him.)

I gave him one dollar to watch my bike


Not the sound, but the biometric tracker. I started wearing the Whoop band and am geeking out on the data it provides. Notably is my recovery score. Almost always, on the day of a big event, I wake up with a recovery score in the red and I still don’t know why. The morning of the Mount Washington Hillclimb my recovery score was 8%. Yikes!

8% Whoop



My 1100-day (actually 1,098) streak was broken on January 3 with a foot of snow. Without a streak to continue it kept me from purposely riding in freezing rain or late at night when I couldn’t otherwise ride. It meant I didn’t ride every day, in fact, I missed 25 days in all. Assume those were horrible weather days and would have been mostly 10-mile days that’s still 250 miles I left out there. But probably more.


I still rode when it was cold. Just not as far as in the past.

The Reflecting Pool, Washington, D.C.


Jeremy Powers is a former cyclocross champion and now spokesman for the Whoop Band. After riding up Mt. Washington he looked at my Whoop Band and told me that I was wearing it wrong. He then took it off me and fixed the strap for a neater look. My bad.

Phil Gaimon and Jeremy Powers soaking their legs in the Peabody River after the hillclimb


In June I flatted near the Manassas Airport. A sliver of metal was protruding from the tire and I had no way to extract it and thus repair the flat. A man stopped, saw what I needed, and in 10 minutes returned with his Leatherman tool. And he gave it to me. Not lent. But gave.

This is not a cheap tool. On Amazon, the price is $181.


Me. Riding in a group on the Pan-Florida Challenge a rider had a flat. While the entire group rolled on I decided to stop and help. The rider was on a borrowed bike and did not know how to change a flat. Once I got him rolling he told me he was riding a metric century and since he was almost halfway, he was turning around leaving me to ride solo to catch the group that I was in but was now 10 minutes up the road. He had SAG support phone number. I should have just left him call in for assistance.

Caught the group as they were rolling out from the next rest stop


In the Pan-Florida Challenge, I was stuck in a group that was going slower than I wanted. I told the group I was going to bridge up to the next group which I could barely see about a half mile ahead. It took me 11 minutes to close the gap and catch on. Their group of six became my group of seven but finished with only four. But it sure was fun catching them and seeing their faces when they realize a rider from the slow group behind caught them.

Jumping on the back of the group


In October I wanted to listen to Whoop and back off a little when my recovery was in the red zone. I switched my Wahoo to display kilometers and removed Strava Love Segments so speed would not be an issue. And I haven’t switched back. The advantages are I am no longer fixated on keeping a certain speed or traveling a certain distance. (I used to always finish with .00 miles.) The disadvantages are that I no longer know how fast to pace myself when I’m riding with others. I just ride.


Although I have talked about my rear Garmin Varia light for a couple of years, it wasn’t until October that I read a review where a user paired his unit to a friend’s computer on a group ride. So on a ride with Tim, I took his Wahoo and paired it to my unit so he could get the same display that I was. After one ride of seeing the display, he went to REI and bought his own later that day.


Foster’s Grille – Manassas, Va. With outdoor seating and bike parking next to the train station, along with employees who know me by name, this place is the best. They added Coke Zero to their soft drinks this year too. Pro Tip: Mondays they offer a senior discount.

Fosters Grille, Manassas


Scottish Highlands Creamery, Oxford, Maryland. Perfectly positioned near the end of a 60-mile ride on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and right after a great ferry ride. A single includes two scoops. But check operating hours. One day I rode there and it was closed.

A proper way to finish 125 miles


Moo-Thru, Remington, Virginia. Often the focal point of a Remington ride. Actually, it is always the focal point of a Remington ride.

Moo Thru, Remington. Va.


This very hilly ride in central Florida is horrible if you don’t like hills or, officially, “only horrible if you miss it.” Or this year, horrible to ride in it. The weather forecast of rain “later in the day” was woefully off. I cut my ride short to 45 miles, got back to the hotel to relax and watched the rain come down. The temperature never got above 55 degrees and I didn’t feel like getting my bike and my shoes soaked.

Back to the hotel


A mileage goal isn’t usually my goal but I first achieved 10,000 miles in 2019. I did it again in 2020 and 2021 so that became my goal this year too. But because I didn’t ride every day it just seemed harder to reach 10,000 miles. And in some ways, that made it more rewarding.


When I am on a solo ride, I connect my phone to an Outdoor Tech Buckshot 2.0 speaker on my handlebars. I can listen to music and if loud enough, others can hear me coming on the trail. I have a Sirius XM subscription. My favorite: Yacht Rock although the 50s and 60s music do well too and always Christmas tunes during the season. Cost: Around $30.


Frederick County, Maryland, became one of my favorite places to ride with three covered bridges near Thurmont plus the haunted Sachs Bridge in Gettysburg.

Sachs Bridge


I never thought I would compete for a KOM on the Mapledale Climb but in November I had a good ride and saw I was within reach of a KOM. I had been 9th but finished second that day. Then I saw the profile of the person who held the title – Mighty Mouse. I’m not a fan of people who hide behind fake screen names and there was something about seeing Mighty Mouse that told me I had to claim the crown. And I did.


Domane – 5,884
Pilot – 2,232
Checkpoint – 1,953

The Domane got almost 60% of my miles but the Pilot came back online in late June. Since then the Domane was ridden for 3,029 miles or 58% of my road miles while the Pilot gave me 2,232 miles. The Checkpoint is used for gravel (rare), trails (rare), and bad weather.


In 2020 I was happy when I took four KOM segments. Then last year I somehow took 121. (Don’t ask.) I never expected to take more than a handful in 2022 but Strava said I took 42. Wow! I’ll take them.

The fastest ride was a solo ride. Loop
The fastest walk was getting to EPCOT on time
The longest ride here was Sebring to Tampa, Fla., the second of two 100-mile rides.
On October 8 I rode 125 miles but it was broken into three rides
I don’t know how Strava selected these
My favorite is any pictures of the chickens at MWARBH


DISTANCE – 10,070 (16,206 km) miles. It was my fourth time over 10,000 miles and my fourth consecutive year.

From RideWithGPS

There is a slight difference between the two tracking programs, Strava and RideWithGPS (10,068 vs 10,071) despite the same files being uploaded to both. I don’t worry about the minor discrepancy.


WEIGHT: 178 (just a little bit up from the end of last year)


I have no goals. Safe riding. Happy riding.

Reflections on the Year – 2021


Another year of riding. Another year of life!

Slowly, many of the events that disappeared in 2020 came back in 2021, most with modifications, and usually to the size of the groups. But I was able to join in some although the signature event, the Livestrong Challenge, in Austin, Texas, was canceled for a second straight year.

(In no particular order)

  • Oh Vesuvius
  • See you later Alligator
  • Alpine Loop Gran Fondo
  • Texas4000
  • Clingman’s Dome
  • Ride to Conquer Cancer
  • Horrible Hundred
  • Sea Gull Century
  • 1000 Days 1000 Rides

10. Oh Vesuvius. I cramped on this climb in 2007 and then was pulled off my bike by paramedics on the climb to Reid’s Gap. I vowed someday I would get revenge. In December I went and rode these climbs. Vesuvius was no problem but Reid’s Gap – I simply did not remember how hard of climb that is. The last mile is equal to that of Mount Washington. But I made it. Next up is Reid’s Gap revenge.

Vesuvius, Va.

9. See you later Alligator 🐊 – In March I rode in Shark Valley in the Everglades and had to dodge alligators on the trail. What fun! I would like to ride this one again.

Alligator Shark Valley, Homestead, Fla.

8. Alpine Loop Gran Fondo. So satisfying in many ways. I PR’d on Shenandoah Mountain and Reddish Knob and Mole Hill. I finished second in my age group but my granddaughters were on course and at the finish to see me. This was very satisfying. 

Jeremiah Bishop and Barry Sherry

7. Texas4000. When Canada closed their border it forced the Texas4000 to reroute. They created a Smokys route which came through Virginia. We gave them a lunch stop in Linden and I rode with them on Skyline Drive. 

Texas4000. Shenandoah National Park

6. Clingman’s Dome. This was not quite a bucket list climb but in November I was able to ride from the visitors’ center at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Clingman’s Dome. Visibility was near zero at the top and this was the climb only. No descent. But still a great memory. 

My mother at the TN-NC State Line
She drove to the top while I rode up.

5. Ride to Conquer Cancer. Enjoyable ride in which I was concentrating on settings PRs (I was riding solo). At Libby Hill I did a PR which appeared good enough for the age group classification. But I don’t think their age groups align with Strava. But a happy ride fighting cancer. ♋️ 

Survivor Bib – Climb to Conquer Cancer

4. Horrible Hundred. This can be a two-day event and I made it that. We enjoyed a sensible paced group ride on Saturday then John Dockins joined me for the first 30 miles on Sunday’s century ride. 

Thanksgiving is coming. Horrible Hundred.

3. Sea Gull Century. A ride I always look forward to each year. Although I rode solo I enjoyed jumping in with some of the many Major Taylor Cycling Club groups. They were awesome people.

Sea Gull Century

2. 1000 Days – 1000 Rides. I started in 2019 to celebrate 10 years of survivorship. I rode at least 10 miles every day. And like a bad cycling Forrest Gump impression, I kept riding and riding. On September 26 I hit 1,000. By year’s end, it was 1,096 days and counting. 

Proud Grandfather. 1000 Days 1000 Rides

1. MWARBH. (Otherwise known as Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb) I walked (rode?) away in 2014 after my eighth hillclimb content to never do this event again. Earlier this year I was drawn to the mountain. My time sucked (my worst ever) but it sure was satisfying to finish. 

The Summit – MWARBH.
Photo Credit: Joe Vigar Photography

Not quite a Top Ten but had many other memories as well.


Duman Lake, Cambria Co.

I have been doing a version of this ride from Somerset to Punxsutawney since 2010. It was always one way to a family reunion and I depended on my parents for a ride back after the reunions. I always looked forward to stopping in Northern Cambria to visit Don & Nancy (both now deceased) and with my dad deceased and my mother getting up in age, I think I probably rode this 70-mile route for the last time.


July 4, 2021 – Washington, D.C.


Historic White’s Ferry – June 20, 2021

The Historic White’s Ferry, connecting Loudoun County, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland, remained closed for the year, denying commuters easy access and this cyclist many good miles in Maryland. Will it finally reopen in 2022?


Tim Casbere at Joplin Road

Joplin Road in Prince William County is a windy two-lane road that connects Quantico with Independent Hill. With no shoulders and blind crests and curves, it is normally too dangerous for cyclists. But a bridge was out and made this road perfect for riding. Unfortunately, the bridge repairs were completed by early April and the road is again, best left not ridden.


July 14 – Washington & Old Dominion Trail


Chickens on High Point

These chickens were on the summit of the climb over Shenandoah Mountain, U.S. 33, West Virginia. I love them like they’re family.


On July 21 near Ashburn. Va., my radar showed a cyclist was gaining on me. I was surprised when this kid on a motorized skateboard passed me. He told me “these things can go really fast.”


Barry at Yellow Springs. Photo Credit: Erin T

In July I rode from Springfield, O. to Cincinnati and back on the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a distance of about 80 miles each way. Paved rail trail the entire way.


The Junction – Milford, Ohio

Last year I bonked badly on a mountainous birthday ride (one mile for every year) in Altoona, Pa. (they have mountains). I vowed this year I would do my birthday ride in Delaware. I didn’t make Delaware but I did make Ohio and rode from Springfield, O. to Cincinnati (Milford), Ohio.


Tim and Connor and the Potomac River

Tim and Connor went out on the pier into the Potomac River and Connor almost lost his bike. We would have saved the bike.


Before I rode on Sept. 24 I had a flat that I changed. At Fosters in Manassas it “blew” a second time so I changed it there. When I got home it flatted again so I gave up. Diagnosed it as a hole in the rim tape and replaced it the next day. 

Fosters Grille Manassas


I passed a woman on the bike path next to the Prince William landfill. I saw she was wearing trash bags so I went home and made a Care package for her. She refused all clothing but accepted the food. I’ve seen her twice since and she no longer makes eye contact. 


Withlacoochee State Trail

I rode the Mahoning Shadow Trail in Punxsutawney, Pa., the Creeper Trail in southwest Virginia (partial), and the Withlacoochee State Trail in Florida (partial). 


Nah. Didn’t make any. 


Tim and the Great Shiplock Park

I rode with Tim more than anyone, although most of my miles are solo. But Tim and I enjoyed the roads in Fauquier County and did a couple of longer day trips. We rode the Abandoned Turnpike in Pa. and from Williamsburg to Richmond. 


Barry and Margaret – Naples, Fla.
Barry and Joe

I did squeeze in a day in Naples, Fla. and see Joe B. (USPS colleague) and Margaret (Roosters). And rode in Culpeper Co. with Margaret in June.

Barry and Margaret (Jun 1, 2021), Brandy Station, Va.
John D. and Barry Sherry at Rest 1

And rode with John (USPS colleague) at the Horrible Hundred in Clermont, Fla. I did see my friend, Erin, in Ohio (no photo).


Montclair. Ice.

There were crap days and I tried to choose my routes carefully. This one in Montclair I messed up. But with no significant snowstorms, I was able to ride every day in 2021.


KOM or King of the Mountains. Two years ago I was very happy when I grabbed four of those. But this year – 121!!!! To be fair, many are “trash” – small segments with 10 or fewer participants. But there were a couple where I was best out of 1,000. However, when I ride on the W&OD and there are 30,000 riders competing for a segment, I typically don’t crack the Top 100 although I always strive for #1 in my age group.


DISTANCE – 10,367 miles (16.684 km). This was my second-highest annual total, second only to 2020 (10,500).

From RideWithGPS

There is a slight difference between the two tracking programs. (10,367 vs 10,369).

DAYS RIDDEN: 365 (1,096 consecutive days since Jan. 1, 2019)

WEIGHT: 172 (just a little bit up from end of last year)


I have no goals. The consecutive days ridden streak was specific to 2019 for my cancerversary which kept going to September 26 when I reached 1,000 straight days. It could have ended there but the weather wasn’t awful enough to stop. But it won’t continue in 2022.

The Cookie Gran Fondo in Malibu by Phil Gaimon has been postponed for two years now and I still have my registration fee paid for 2020. Hopefully, that will work out for October. Likewise, the Livestrong Challenge in Austin has also been postponed for two years. And it would be nice to return to Austin.

With the uncertainty of how COVID will be handled by foreign countries, this doesn’t look like a year to travel to Europe. And my biological clock is ticking.

Above all, I hope for a safe year. Some adventures. But above all, safe riding.

Reflections on the Year – 2020


Ah, 2020. No complaints. Just different. For the first time in years, I did not attend an in-person cycling event as the coronavirus forced the cancellation of the events I would normally have or hoped to attend.

My riding became much more localized and I certainly made the best of the opportunity. It was a year I set a personal record for mileage and for days ridden (thanks to being a Leap Year). I just rode locally instead of nationally or internationally. No complaints.


  • Two New Bikes
  • The Bear Whisperer
  • Virtual Podium
  • Strava, Strava, Strava
  • Solo Centuries
  • Pine Creek Trail
  • A Ride Every Day
  • KOMs and a Local Legend
  • Mount Mitchell
  • Weight Loss

Everybody likes a new bike, right? Well, except when you don’t want to get rid of the old. But my 2014 Trek Domane and my 2006 Trek Pilot both reached the end of their useful lives. I got some warranty help from Trek and now have a 2020 Domane and a 2021 Checkpoint (gravel bike).

2020 Domane

2021 Checkpoint ALS 5


I suppose if you are outside enough, particularly in the wilderness, you will see a bear. I saw my first near Frostburg, Maryland in 2010. I saw my second while climbing Mount Evans, Colorado in 2016. And then … September. First I was on Rectortown Road in Fauquier Co., Virginia on Sept. 2 when I saw a bear. And then on the 22nd, I was on the Pine Creek Trail near Jersey Shore, Pa. when I saw another one. September was a good month for bears.

There’s a bear in those woods

Ben King’s Ride Home Roads virtual event offered prizes for distance and climbing – categories I think I could have done well in, except this ran during the Tour de France. And I spent four hours per day watching the Tour instead of riding. But I did win a prize for the social media portion of his event.

A real polka-dot jersey for the 65-69 age group at the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo

Jeremiah Bishop‘s Alpine Loop Grand Fondo offered prizes for best times on Zwift – except I don’t do Zwift. They also had category winners and I won the jersey in the 65-69 year group. I had a number of PRs including a couple of KOMs this summer.

Bib 1 – Alpine Loop

Yes, Strava has been around for years. But this is the first year I subscribed to it to get local segments to display on my Wahoo bike computer and it changed the way I ride. A long solo ride at speed may have had me being complacent if not a bit bored but having segments pop up while I ride forced me to go hard in stretches where I otherwise wouldn’t have. It made me a better cyclist and made my rides more fun.


With no events planned I rode my own solo centuries. I did two in August and then in October went to Ocean City, Md. to ride the canceled Sea Gull Century. I rode it solo from Ocean City instead of Salisbury, Md. and I rode it backward, in part to see if other people had come to the beach to ride (they had), and in part, because riding a familiar route backward makes it new to you.
Assateague Island


Not all miles were road miles and in September I went to Jersey Shore, Pa., and rode the 64-mile Pine Creek Trail through the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.” Since I was riding solo I had to ride it out-and-back but the “back” was mostly on the road. Trails are nice but the road calls.

Pine Creek Trail near Jersey Shore, Pa.

It began last year on January 1. For my 10th Cancerversary year I set a goal of riding at least 10 miles, outside, every day. And it continued this year. In the cold (18°), heat (100°), rain, and snow – I rode. Now I have ridden 731 straight days. Don’t know when it will end but if I continue to September 26, 2021, it will be 1,000 consecutive days.

Not every ride had beautiful weather and beautiful views like this one at Shawnee State Park near Schellsburg, Pa., 8-17-2020

Strava has segments in which one can try to beat their own times (Personal Records) but also be “King of the Mountain” (KOM), i.e., the best ever. Since everyone is younger and faster than me I never expect to be the KOM for any segment. But it didn’t stop me from trying. And I ended up with four KOMs in 2020, none more satisfying than the two-mile segment on Minnieville Road from Spriggs Road to Rte 234. I was hoping for an age group best but did not know the KOM was in reach. I finished in 4:56 besting the second-place time by 27 seconds. Each time I ride that segment I wonder how in the heck did I do that in under five minutes? (Hint: With light traffic, I never used the bike path and stayed on Minnieville Road the entire time.)

Somewhat easier for me to obtain was the status of ‘Local Legend’ which is awarded to the cyclist who completes the most segments in a 90-day period. And so, quite predictably, I became a local legend on a number of segments because I ride every day and I stayed mostly at home.

Strava KOMs

In November I went to Marion, North Carolina, and rode up Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain in the eastern U.S. It was a cool day with few people around so from the parking lot I rode up the access trail to the summit to the applause of the few people there.

Mount Mitchell State Park

As I close out the year the scales said I weighed less than I did in high school. Yes, it was planned and yes, it was hard work. But I need to keep it going for a lifetime.

All in all, it was a good year. Sure, I didn’t get to go to events and missed seeing friends, especially in Austin, Texas, and in California. But with 1,000,000 reasons to give up, I did not. 2020, I will miss you.

But there were other moments that defined 2020.


BEST SMELL – Balsam firs at the top of Mount Mitchell. How aromatic. I felt sorry for people in their cars driving to the top with their windows closed tight.

BEST SMALL TOWN – Mayberry, of course. I went to Mount Airy, N.C. and rode to Mabry Mill near Meadows of Dan, Va. The ride was great but afterward rode through Mount Airy and it was a ride back in time. I even ate at Barney’s (Fife) Cafe like the locals. But I didn’t see Aunt Bee.

Barney’s in Mount Airy

WORST ENDING – White’s Ferry – WTF is that?!? When all else failed and I needed a go-to ride to bring a smile to my face, I would head to Leesburg and to White’s Ferry to cross the Potomac River on a ferry. On December 28 they announced they were closing for good as two entities, Rockland Farms and Whites Ferry, were having a food fight with a touch of Loudoun County thrown in for good measure. I don’t know what the future holds. Is it gone forever? I can’t imagine it so. Will Maryland (Montgomery Co.) and Virginia (Loudoun Co.) governments step in and create a public ferry? I do know that 600 commuters each day depend on the ferry. As does this cyclist.

Whites Ferry 11-14-2020

FUNNIEST COMMENT“You got skinny!” In September in the parking lot at The Bike Lane in Reston, Va., the owner, Todd Mader, who I have known for 20 years at first walked by me and said “Excuse me, sir.” Then he did a double take and said “Barry, I didn’t recognize you. You got skinny!”

BEST BURGER AND FRIES – In a year in which local riding was necessary, my go-to local ride was the “Manassas Loop” with a stop at Fosters Grille in Manassas. A nice outdoor eating area across from an active passenger train station, it was a perfect stop on my rides.

Fosters Grille Manassas

STUPIDEST DRIVER – On March 9, I turned the blind corner on the W&OD at Leesburg to go under Rte. 15 and almost was hit head-on by a car on the trail. “I was just following my GPS,” the driver said.

COOLEST GRANDKIDS I – We had a week with our granddaughters and during that time got our youngest up and riding on two wheels.

Up on Two Wheels

WORST IMPRESSION OF UNCLE SAM – Me. July 4. This photo and a subsequent bonk the next day led me to make a lifestyle change. It’s embarrassing to be here but is a reminder not to repeat the past.

July 4 – Uncle Sam would not be impressed

COOLEST GRANDKIDS II – I took our grandsons, ages 10 and 12, to the W&OD Trail and we rode 28 miles of the trail. Although it was over two days, there are not many 10-year-olds out riding 14-15 miles at a time.


WORST DECISION – After a double flat failure I decided to walk home barefooted (to save the cycling shoes) rather than to call for a ride. I tore up both feet after only 1.5 miles.

Wore my foot out

BEST GOOD SAMARITAN IScott Turner, in Montclair, who saw me walking while pushing my bike and asked if he could give me and my bike a ride home. I did not hesitate saying yes and he didn’t mind my bloody feet in his car.

WORST MECHANIC – Me. I rode a new bike (2020 Trek Domane) with deep rims and could never get the right size tube and stem. The valve stems, while working fine for a floor pump, are too short to allow a CO2 cartridge to fully inflate the tire. After five failures on the road, here’s hoping my 60 cc stems will work the next time. I probably should waste a CO2 and test one first.

70,000 MILES CANCER-FREE – And at the end of the year it was 74,378 miles which is just 326 miles short of being three times around the Earth at the equator (74,704 miles)

BEST ROAD RIDES NOT ON THE ROAD – While the Pine Creek Trail was a destination trip, it wasn’t the only rail trail that I rode. Of course, I ride the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) so frequently that I forget it is a rail trail. I also rode the Great Allegheny Passage between Meyersdale and Fort Hill, Pa. and in Pittsburgh; the Hoodlebug in Indiana Co., Pa. the Western Maryland Rail Trail in Hancock, Md.; and the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, N.C. I also rode the Path of the Flood Trail in Johnstown which is part rail-trail as it follows the Allegheny Portage Rail Road and goes through the first railroad tunnel built in the U.S.

American Tobacco Trail

WORST ENDING FOR A GOOD CAR – It was nearly the perfect car for my riding. It had a DIY rack and could transport two bikes in the back of my 2002 Toyota RAV4 and two more on top. But it also had 334,000 miles and when a barrel fell off a truck in front of me on US 220 in Williamsport, Pa. in September, the car was totaled. I was uninjured but I was a bit sad losing this car.

Toyota RAV4
Toyota RAV4 with DIY Bike Rack

BEST GOOD SAMARITAN II – A man named “CW” on Captiva Island, Fla. gave me a ride after a couple of flats (glass through the tire) to Sanibel Island to a bike rental store.

CW on the right

WORST WEATHER WIMP – Me. On Christmas Day I rode in Washington, D.C. to see the Christmas decorations. Only out for one hour and with temperatures about freezing (34°), my hands literally froze. I could not feel the touch screen on my phone to take a photo. I could not remove my key from my pocket. Not could I feel to unbuckle my helmet (and that’s what friends are for). My hands were like numb clubs but this may be a harbinger of things to come.

FALLS – I HAD A FEW – Well, two. I had gone more than 500 days without a crash/fall and then on a foggy day when I tried to cross a grass median on Rte 234 to get to the bike trail, I hit a sunken 2×4 that was in the high grass which caused me to me a have a heavy fall on the asphalt. Please don’t litter.

Less than three weeks later, I was again trying to cross a grass median, this one in Lake Ride, to avoid a couple ahead of me on the path. It looked safe but the grass concealed a hidden ditch. My wheel went into it and I went over the handlebars, ever so slowly. I almost sat down in the grass more than fell, but it was a fall. I laughed.

A MILEAGE RECORD – Having ridden 10,000 miles in 2019, I didn’t think I would repeat that. I didn’t. I bettered it.

Final Stats for 2020 – But this one includes a 3-mile walk. Waiting for a new graphic from Strava for 10,500.

BEST GOOD SAMARITAN III – On Sanibel Island at Fennimore’s Cycle Shop, they did not have the right size tube to sell me. Instead, they gave me one of their rental road bikes to ride across the causeway and retrieve my car so I could return for my bike.

Removing the platform pedals from the Fuji for me to ride

BEST ICE CREAM – Just as Fosters Grille gave me purpose to ride my Manassas Loop, so too did Moo-Thru give me purpose to ride in Remington, Va. Tim Casebere and I did a ride in Culpeper, Va. when I realized where Moo-Thru was. So I created a route from nearby Remington which would stop at Moo-Thru. In all, I probably stopped there six times or so.

Moo-Thru, Remington. Va.

WORST PAYMENT ON A TOLL ROAD – Having parked on the Fort Myers, Fla. side so I could ride across the causeway to Sanibel Island and also avoid a $6 toll, I accepted the offer of Fennimore’s to take their bike and retrieve my car. Actually, I should have gone to my car and retrieved the right tube and maybe a new tire, which I had with me in the car. Now I’m on the hook for $6 (plus fees).

BEST GOOD SAMARITAN IV – Me. On April 9 I saw a young woman pushing her bike. I offered to help her fix it but I couldn’t fix the dangerous wind she was riding in. So I gave Erin a ride back to her car. We became friends and would ride together a dozen times, often with my friend, Tim. In a year of complete repetition and some boredom, riding with someone new to the area gave me a renewed purpose to look at my routes through the eyes of a first-time rider.

BEST REPLACEMENT FOR A CAR – My new (used, but it’s new to me) 2020 Ford Transit. I didn’t find it, it found me. Can carry my bikes and my DIY rack from the RAV4 moved over with just a slight modification.

2020 Ford Transit Connect
DIY Bike Rack

With less adventure and no events, I made the best out of 2020. And it was my best year ever. Here’s to a better year in 2021.

Stats from RidewithGPS. Strava (for now), included the 2.5 mile walk home in my bare feet accounting for the 3-mile difference.

MILESTONES – The Strava training calendar said that I set 843 personal records. That will be hard to beat in any year.

WEIGHT (AT START): 212 lbs (Minimum. Complete guess. It could have been 10 pounds higher)

WEIGHT (AT END): 162 lbs

Reflections on the Year – 2019

I rode on New Years Day because everyone rides on New Years Day, no matter what. But it was nice enough to ride on January 2 so I rode. And it was then I thought why not ride every day? Ten miles minimum. Outside. The 10 miles would be in honor of my 10-year Cancerversary this year. It would give me a reason to ride – no matter what. And I would ride at least 100 miles per week as well. The final part of this was to ride 10,000 miles. That would be a big ask. I twice reached 8,000 miles (but never 7,000). I reasoned there were some things I could do more than just riding 10 miles every day. In my big mileage years, I would often ride around 265 days. For those 100 days that I didn’t ride, I would be adding 1,000 miles just by riding 10 miles per day. Maybe I could do this. And on December 21, I went over 10,000 for the year, finishing with 10,150. I rode on New Years Day because everyone rides on New Years Day, no matter what. But it was nice enough to ride on January 2 so I rode. And it was then I thought why not ride every day? Ten miles minimum. Outside. The 10 miles would be in honor of my 10-year Cancerversary this year. It would give me a reason to ride – no matter what. And I would ride at least 100 miles per week as well. The final part of this was to ride 10,000 miles. That would be a big ask. I twice reached 8,000 miles (but never 7,000). I reasoned there were some things I could do more than just riding 10 miles every day. In my big mileage years, I would often ride around 265 days. For those 100 days that I didn’t ride, I would be adding 1,000 miles just by riding 10 miles per day. Maybe I could do this. And on December 21, I went over 10,000 for the year, finishing with 10,150.


With 365 days of riding how does one narrow it down to 10 highlights? Let’s go by month.
  • JANUARY – I rode in Ligonier and Somerset, Pa. in cold and snow. And one crash. In Ligonier, it was cold and crusty. In Somerset, I ended up in a church parking lot during snow squalls, finishing after dark. Both those days were on a mountain bike. And during a snowstorm in Virginia, rather than stay in the safe, plowed, neighborhood, I went into Montclair. While the main streets were plowed, Holleydale Dr. was not. Wanting to do a loop I decided to ride in some fresh tire tracks. Until they ended in a driveway. On a downhill. Crashes in the snow on asphalt hurts too. Even on a mountain bike.
W&OD Bridge, Reston, Va.
  • FEBRUARY – Just cold and more snow. Having ridden 480 miles in January my goal was to hit 1,000 miles by the end of February, I made it. But I couldn’t lose sight of the fact that 1,000 miles in two months put me on pace for just 6,000 for the year.
WMRR near Hancock, Md.
  • MARCH was better. My mileage was 723 miles. But even then, at 1700 miles in three months I was on pace for 6,800 miles. Doubt was beginning to creep in.
  • APRIL brought warmer weather and a trip to Florida. I drove and met the family at Club Med in Port St. Lucie. I got in 30-mile rides each day including one 50-mile day.
Pier Titusville Fla.
  • With Spring fully in place, I rode 1000 miles in MAY, the first of five months in which I hit the 1000 mile mark. It was also the first test of riding every day even while traveling. I flew to Austin on May 31 then drove to Killeen. I built the bike then went for a ride, finishing at dusk.
  • JUNE began with the Atlas Ride to support the Texas 4000. Then a trip to Europe. I returned sick and illness prevented a second straight 1,000-mile month (934) as I slogged through seven days doing just the minimum ten miles.
Texas 4000
  • JULY brought the MS-150 ride in State College and an 1100-mile month.
Woodland Ave Punxsutawney
  • AUGUST included a trip to Ohio and Indiana and a 1200-mile month
  • In SEPTEMBER I found a new cancer ride in Richmond and went back to the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo
  • OCTOBER was a California trip and more challenges to ride every day. After riding on Monday morning, I took the redeye home, and as soon as I landed and there was daylight, I took my second bike out and rode since the Domane was still in the shipping case.
  • NOVEMBER included a disappointing trip to Florida (weather). I had hoped to have 9,000 miles by the end of October leaving 1,000 miles for November and December. I was just short of 9,000 but knew I could finish strong.
  • DECEMBER was my lowest month but I was positioned where it didn’t have to be a big mileage month. Bad weather and illness slowed me but on December 21 I crossed the 10,000-mile threshold.
MECHANICALS I had a few, but too few to whine about.
  • In Virginia, the rear derailleur popped off the Domane on the W&OD. I walked a mile and Tom, from The Bike Lane, came and got me.
  • In Texas, the rear derailleur on my Domane quit working while I was on the 50-mile Atlas Ride. A wire had been pinched and shorted out (my fault on rebuild) but I was stuck in one gear for the ride.
  • In Pennsylvania, the rear derailleur cable broke on my Pilot while on the MS-150 ride. I was stuck in the hardest gear but only walked up two mountains.
  • In California, the front derailleur (Di2) of the Domane sheared off a piece and I had to ride both days of the Cookie Gran Fondo without shifting the front derailleur.
AND FLATS I had seven flats in 10,000 miles. My road kit includes a CO2 cartridge and I managed to use just one of those repairing seven flats
  • In January, in a very cold DC (and I didn’t want to mess with changing a flat), Alan Ruof gave me a ride to my car and I was able to repair the flat in my house.
  • In March in a cold rain, I flatted one mile from my house. I walked home and repaired the flat in my house.
Flat – March 21
  • In September I suffered two flats on the Abandoned Turnpike in Pa. I was eight miles from nowhere. I repaired one with the one CO2 I had. I rode the other flat back to the car.
  • In October, on the Pacific Coast Highway, I flatted. A woman had pulled over to wait for her family and I borrowed a floor pump from her to fix my flat.
  • In December, on the W&OD, I had completed a ride but noticed a flat when I got to my daughter’s house. I repaired it there. The next day on the W&OD I flatted one-mile from my car. I walked back to the car then changed the flat at home.
With seven flats I only had to change two on the road. The one on Pacific Coast Highway and the one on the Abandonded Turnpike. That’s not a bad track record. No whining.


HANGING WITH THE PROS I had chances to ride with current and retired pro cyclists. In Europe, I rode with Andy and Frank Schleck and Jens Voigt. Back in the States, I rode with Jeremiah Bishop, Ben King (almost), and Phil Gaimon. KEEPING UP WITH A TRACK STAR In Finland, I hooked up with a very young Astrid Snall, a track and triathlon champion.
SPEED AWARD On August 14, riding near Ligonier, Pa., I went 52 mph (83 kph) down Darlington Road towards Rector.
Top Speed 2019
BEST SWAG Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Gran Fondo had a cookie mussette Ben King’s Home Roads RVA had a neck gaiter. Got an insulated water bottle from the Horrible Hundred. But the one thing I use almost daily – a reusable shopping back from the Climb to Conquer Cancer. A TRIP I FINALLY REMEMBER Having woken up in Ohio on May 16, 2018 with no memory of being there, I went back to Ohio and rode with Paul Sullenberger, the retired police officer who found me unconscious on the Great Miami River Trail. This time I remembered the ride.
Paul and Barry
BEST COUPLE I met Andrew and Stacey near the end of the Sea Gull Century. They were doing their first every Metric Century BEST GROUP RIDE Every day in Luxembourg with the Roosters. We rode in twos, close to the rider in front of us. No one was sketchy (ok, maybe one but not calling that person out here) and we felt safe at 15, 20, 30 mph. WORST GROUP RIDE On July 9 I met up with a group from Bull Run Cycles in Manassas. There were about 60 cyclists of varying abilities. My three attempts to have a conversation with anyone went nowhere. Having just returned from Europe and riding with Jens Voigt and the Brothers Schleck, I saw a rider with a Team CSC jersey. I tried to drop their names but he had never heard of them – even though that was the team they raced with before Leopard. There were riders crossing wheels, stopping without warning, and just riding erratically. I bailed before it was over and won’t jump in with that group again. BEST MEAL Cookie Gran Fondo. At Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Gran Fondo, some of the best chefs in L.A. brought in their creations. In addition to the chocolate chip cookies, you won’t find better food on a ride than this. Honorable Mention: The Alpine Loop Gran Fondo (Jeremiah Bishop)., Harrisonburg, Va. Ride Director, Erin Bishop does an outstanding job with a post-ride catered meal.
WORST MEAL While eating at an outdoor restaurant in Luxembourg City, Frank Schleck found a spider in his salad.
Shortly after this photo was taken, Frank was given a salad with a spider in it
OH FRANCE, I HARDLY KNEW YE Riding in France four times previously, it existed for me as the perfect place to ride. No road rage and even the dogs don’t bark at you. While on our Luxembourg-France ride in June, a car went by horn blazing. And a dog barked at us. France, I hardly knew ye. Now France is just a place (actually it’s not, it’s just not perfect anymore). WORST DIRECTIONS Arriving at the Hilton Airport in Frankfort, and needing a place to ride to “ride every day,” I asked three people at the front desk where to ride. I was told we were at an airport and one couldn’t ride. Yet I could see a bike path 10 floors below my room. I found the bike path. BIGGEST LOGISTICAL CHALLENGE – I Zurich. On Mon. June 24, I would leave at 10:00 a.m., scheduled to arrive Philadelphia at 2:30, depart at 6:00, arrive DCA at 7:30, then be home by 9:00 p.m. (dark), if lucky. But the Zurich Airport Hotel had some “rental” bikes which were free to guests. I departed the hotel at 6:05 a.m. with no clue where I was going but rode 10.4 miles. Philadelphia had bad weather, my flight was delayed three times and my bike stayed on the place in DC after they unloaded all the luggage. They had to get a special crew out to the plane to get my bike. But at least I got my ride done in Switzerland. BIGGEST LOGISTICAL CHALLENGE – II On June 6 I rode in the morning before my 4:30 flight to Iceland connecting to Helsinki. I arrived in Helsinki on June 7, rented a car and drove to Forssa. I was building the bike when Laura Vainio came home around 4:00 p.m. and we visited and went to dinner. It was almost 9:00 p.m. before I started on a 13-mile exploration of Forssa. BIGGEST LOGISTICAL CHALLENGE – III Returning from California, I rode the morning of Monday, October 28, along the beaches of Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. I took the redeye (departing at 10:00 p.m. PST). The flight was only four hours and it arrived IAD before 6:00 a.m. I waited at baggage for my Domane but had brought my Trek Pilot in the car. Once I got my bike from luggage, I grabbed a quick breakfast then jumped on my Pilot rode 20 miles on the W&OD. And I almost fell asleep on the drive home. WORST CRASH There was one, on snow. I was on treated streets until I came to Holleyside Dr. in Montclair. Wanting to do a loop instead of an out and back. I thought I would follow some fresh tire tracks in the snow. Downhill. They ended in a driveway. I went straight. I went down. Ouch.
Holleyside Drive yuck
DOLORES! At Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Gran Fondo I head a voice then recognized the actress as Susan Walters. She has many acting credits but I only know her a the girl Jerry Seinfeld is dating but he doesn’t remember her name and is too embarrassed to ask her. SHUT UP LEGS! I went to Luxembourg expecting to ride with Frank Schleck. But on the last night we were there who would show up but Jens Voigt. I got to ride with the Jensie! BEST ICE CREAM RIDE In Finland, 12-year-old, Olivia, and I went for a ride to downtown Forssa for ice cream.
We asked if they took credit cards (they said yes), we ordered, we ate, we went to pay and none of my credit cards would work. But we went to an ATM, got cash, went back and settled up. And the ice cream was delish!
MOST OVER OFFICIOUS PERSON In May, I was on my normal go-to route through Montclair which means going through the school parking lot at Henderson Elementary, dismounting and walking up 10 stairs to the upper drop-off area. This is to avoid the upper section and uphill portion of Waterway Drive which gets busy. It was about 8:45 a.m. and the drive up to the school was crowded with parents illegally parked in the fire lane, all on their cell phones. I went past them to the sidewalk and dismounted. The principal of the school, Suzanne Bevins, came over and confronted me. She asked me not to ride there “for your own safety.” I thought her concern was 500 elementary students and not one cyclist. It seemed clear that she was worried about an older male wearing Lycra being near the kids. I asked her if it was illegal for me to walk up those stairs and she conceded it was not. I thanked her for her concern for my safety, maybe a bit sarcastically, but assured her that avoiding those caffeinated drivers using Waterway Drive was much more dangerous than me walking through the school grounds. For what it’s worth, I don’t believe for one second she was concerned about my safety. I do believe I believe I was targeted because I am an older man on the grounds with elementary students. A man in Lycra. BEST OVERTIME When my rear derailleur quit working on the Atlas Ride near Austin, I scrambled late on Saturday to find an open bike shop for repair so I could ride on Sunday. I found Bicycle Shop on N. Palmer Ave. Sam Jaffe worked on the bike to diagnose it, find a part (didn’t have it but improvised), and stayed overtime to get the bike running again.
Sam Jaffe at Bicycle Shop in Austin
RIDING BAREBACK I did not find my hand pump for my treat to Europe so through when I hit the ground in Finland my plan was to find a bike shop and buy a CO2 cartridge. Forssa had a bike shop that was closed weekends and was mostly a hardware store. I visited friends twice to use their floor pumps. I rode through Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, Franc,e Belgium, and Switzerland without an air source for my tires in case of emergency. I made it but do not recommend it. THE WAY YOU DO IT In California, I visited a bike shop to top off my tires. I then bought a CO2 cartridge from them. Although I had a flat while on the Cookie Gran Fondo, where I pulled over I found a woman with a floor pump in her car. I did not need to go to my C02. And when I tore down the bike at Enterprise Rent A Car in El Segundo, I gave my cartridge to the manager who was a cyclist. BEST BIKE PURCHASE On my way to Florida, I stopped at an REI in Jacksonville. I had a 25% off one item coupon and found the Wahoo Bike Computer I had been looking at. She read the fine print (I couldn’t read it) and said it was not good on items with GPS. Then she smiled and rang it up anyway. ROYAL ORDER OF THE IRON CROTCH My local cycling club, Potomac Pedalers Touring Club, has an award, which may be tongue in cheek, but it is called the Iron Crotch Award. This recognition goes to anyone who rides 5,000 miles in a year. And I qualified. Twice. To qualify, I had to submit a simple questionnaire.
  • TOTAL MILES: 10,150
  • LONGEST RIDE – Sea Gull Century — 104
  • Date on which 5,000 was achieved (1) – July 11 – Just a loop around home.
  • Date on which 5,000 was achieved (2) – July 15 – I thought I went over 5,000 on July 11 but there were a couple of rides that were counted twice. I had to recalibrate and actually went over 5,000 on a 34-mile ride I call the “Manassas Loop.”
  • Most miles in a Month — 1211 (August)
  • Most miles in a week — 334 – July 15- 21, included the MS-150 in Pennsylvania
  • Number of Zero mile weeks – None
  • Number of 100 mile days – One
  • Most interesting story – That’s sort of what this blog post is about

Reflections on the Year – 2018

If the year is measured simply by mileage, it was a down year. A very down year. The last year in which I did not reach 5,000 miles was 2011. The total for this year was just 4,205 miles. I can point to two events – two major events, which kept me from accumulating more miles but it may have been more than that. And I can always blame the rain which was a record annual rainfall in the D.C. area. In February, I had knee replacement surgery. I had gone six years with at least one ride every week and I scheduled the surgery for a Tuesday. That way I could ride on Monday (the first day of the “Ride Week”) and 13 days later, the following Sunday, be able to ride again and not miss a week without a ride. Thirteen days came and I tried to pedal my bike. I turned it over one time. One revolution. That was it. One. I could not pedal a bike. I hit the gym and started riding a stationary bike. I read books; cycling books, while I pedaled my way back to bike fitness. The books all had a common theme: Every cyclist at the World Tour level from 1995-2010 was on dope. Except for Jens. I did not track the indoor miles (I didn’t GO anywhere so how can I track miles ridden?) and finally got going in late April. And on May 16 I woke up on a bike trail in Ohio with no recollection of where I was or what I was doing in Ohio. So it was off the bike some more. Still, I had some nice or memorable or forgettable experiences. (In chronological order):
  • The Atlas Ride (Texas4000, Lampasas, TX)
  • MS-150 Ride from Hollidaysburg to State College (Pa.)
  • T-Town
  • Jeremiah Bishop Alpine Loop Gran Fondo
  • The Seagull Century
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Mount Baldy
  • World Hillclimb Championships
  • Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Gran Fondo
  • The Horrible Hundred
Summary: The Atlas Ride came much too soon after my accident. I was not in shape and it was nearly 100°  (that’s 38° Celsius). I was still in concussion protocol and I suffered greatly but got to meet my Bicycle Buddy from the Texas 4000, Grant McFarlin. The MS Ride changed this year. There was a bigger emphasis on groups. Being solo I rode alone and could not find a seat at the dinner since they were reserved for groups or friends were saving seats. So even though I was a top fundraiser, I ordered room service. There was a miscommunication between our Spokes of Hope group and the Valley Preferred Cycling Center (Trexltertown, or T-Town) so we did not get to ride during the Friday Night Lights event. But Gary Gravina and Stacey Lowmaster Gravina came out to see the races (and me) and our group had a nice ride on Saturday. During the Jeremiah Bishop Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, a bike mechanical and still not back to bike shape, I ended up meeting a teen who wanted to ride and talk. I wanted to be left alone but I shepherded him through 80 miles, not 100, and he won the KOM for his age group. At the Seagull Century, I rode in a draft for 60 miles then pulled for 40. It was the best I felt all year. I found my way to Palomar Mountain, which is one of the iconic climbs in southern California. The next day I climbed Mount Baldy. This is a very tough climb and am glad to see it back in the Amgen Tour of California for 2019. How not to prepare for the World Hillclimb Championships? Ride Mount Baldy and Palomar Mountain the two days prior. I finished dead last in the world (or maybe second last or third last). But I think DFL. It was fun. I followed up the Hillclimb Worlds with Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Gran Fondo. Not sure which was tougher – the Saturday “fun” ride or the main event on Sunday. I finished the year with the Horrible Hundred in Clermont, Fla. Didn’t do the full 100 because I rode with John Dockins and Joe Berezo and they weren’t going the full distance. Some days it’s more about friends. But three events stand out this year. First, I was riding in Ohio and somehow crashed on a bike trail. I have no recollection of the event. It’s surreal to reconstruct where I was with no memory of it. But I know this sport that I love, that two wheels can leave us at any time and you can’t always protect your head. Always wear a helmet. My dear cousin, Kay Walborn, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January. Her last words to me were let’s ride together in September at the Clarion M.S. Ride because “last year was so much fun.” She died in August and I so wanted to get her to Trexlertown to ride on the track. But my neatest conversation was July 9.
Kay called me on July 9. She never called but we texted a lot. But she called because I had given her a book “Under the French Blue Sky.”  Written by my friend, Nicole Davison, it described Scott and Nicole’s trip riding the route of the Tour de France in 2016. They rode one week ahead of the actual Tour. Kay called me and asked me how much it would cost to do that. I told her about $12,000 (although fundraising could account for $8,000). She told me she wanted to do that with me in 2019. She would have to get rid of her tumor first. I promised her I would wait for her and we would ride together. Kay Walborn died on August 19.
Kay alongside the Clarion River, Sept. 2017 May all your rides be downhill with a tailwind.
Nine years ago I was battling prostate cancer. I delayed treatment to be able to “race” (slow ride, actually) the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. I talked to the winner after the event and, Phil Gaimon, now says he was “sad and lonely” and living out of his car at the time and I had befriended him. He often wondered how I was doing. I got to see him in October at his Gran Fondo and he even tweeted about our first encounter. Cutest moment: Two girls were at Dunn Loring and after a 40-mile ride when it was hot, chased me down to offer me lemonade. Funniest moment: At the Horrible Hundred in Florida, I wore my rainbow socks from the Hillclimb Worlds. One woman asked me about that and told me she thought they were a joke (that I was in the Hillclimb Worlds). Haha. I guess it was. BY THE NUMBERS

Reflections on the Year – 2017

NUMBERS: The thing the stands out is my mileage was way down for 2017. I did not hit 8,000 miles, or even 7,000 miles, as I did the past two years.

In the past, I chose my Top Ten Moments/Rides, which were sometimes 11 or 12. This year I just want to look at moments.

BEST EPIC ADVENTURE – In June I rode across the Swiss Alps from Austria to France (almost).

BEST STOLEN WATER – In late August I did a ride from Cumberland, Md. into Bedford County. As I returned to Cumberland there is about a mile hill at 3-4% and two young women were walking their bikes. One, Mary, was a cyclist from D.C. Her friend from Cumberland was not, hence they were walking. It was hot. Mary was thirsty. She took the second bottle from my bike and downed it.

BEST PHOTOGRAPHER – I stopped in Switzerland and asked Marcel to take my photo. Great young man.

Marcel the Photographer

QUIETEST RIDE – On May 17 I joined 60 other cyclists including the parents of Jamie Roberts, Bob and Eveline Roberts, as we rode in the Ride of Silence in Rockville, Maryland.

ONLY 4430 MILES SHORT – On June 3 I rode 70 miles on Day 1 with the Texas 4000 as they headed of for a 4500 mile ride from Austin to Anchorage, Fighting Cancer Every Mile.

TOUGHEST CLIMB – It wasn’t long but it was steep as I rode Henrietta Mountain Road near Saxton, Pa. It compared to Hurricane Mountain Road (NH), Mount Washington (NH), and San Pellegrino (the mountain, not the drink) (Italy). Ouch.

BIGGEST DOUCHE – Some cop in Zurich who ticketed me for riding on a sidewalk – a sidewalk that looked like any other bike path and in an area I found out later was a trap for cyclists. Couldn’t even let this American slide with a warning and a Welcome to Zurich.

MOST AMERICAN SWISS – On the ferry to Bochenride, I saw a young woman on a Cervelo Bike. She had a Garmin 500 GPS. She had MY Speed Play pedals. North American bike, U.S. GPS, U.S. pedals. I thought she might be a tourist and finally talked to her. No, she was a local from Luzerne. But could have pulled off being American.

COOLEST ADVENTURE – DUH! My six-day trip through the Swiss Alps.

NOISIEST ROAD – The Klausen Pass in Switzerland where more than 200 motorcycles (or motorbikes) went flying by me up the mountain.

WORST HOTEL – Thun, Switzerland. The room was tiny with no air-conditioning and it was a hot day. The window was small and opening it six stories above the street let in more street noise than fresh air.

BEST HOTELHotel Seerausch, Beckenreid, Switzerland. Situated on Lake Lucerne. Absolutely gorgeous. Big room. Unbelievable views. Great staff!

BEST HOTEL-2Hotel Rischli, Sörenberg, Switzerland. They had goats. Tiny goats. Large room and a great staff.

BEST ABANDONED RIDE – Not going to Bormio, Italy (as much as I wanted to) because of freezing rain and snow in the forecast. I went home instead.

MOST COUNTRIES / ONE RIDE – In June I rode with Ben Z. as we did a Switzerland – France – Germany – Switzerland – Germany – Switzerland loop. (Three countries)

BIGGEST BUBBA – On August 11, riding near Hooversville, Pa. (Somerset Co.), I was twice forced off the road by one very angry driver. I called Pennsylvania State Police who promised to visit him.

Stats for 2017

Reflections on the Year – 2016


My riding in 2016 was always with the backdrop of my dad’s fall, injury, and subsequent death. When he fell in late April I thought to whether we had taken our last ride. My second thought was to buy him a trike for when he healed so balance wouldn’t be an issue. Then I started looking for recumbent tandems in which he could be a non-contributing passenger.

The day after his fall his first words to me when he saw me were “Barry the Biker.” I chuckled.  He told me he wanted to get out of the hospital soon so that I could go to Colorado (for Ride the Rockies).  I went to Colorado, even though he never returned home, but drove back from Colorado in two days to see him. And I sat out two weeks of prime riding season in September to be by his side.

I really enjoyed our rides the past four years and will miss them. He was a big fan of my rides so these are dedicated to him. In no particular order, here are my top ten memorable rides for 2016.

  • Ohio – Trails and Piqua


In May I went to Ohio and despite some crappy weather, met and rode with my friend Bob Berberich on the Little Miami Trail then rode on my own around Dayton and up to Piqua where I had lived 50 years ago.

  • Ride the Rockies

Trail Ridge Road
Trail Ridge Road

My go-to ride every year, this year’s Ride the Rockies featured a climb over Independence Pass, the Copper Triangle, and a very windy day over Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park.

I forgot how long a 28-mile ride to the tallest paved mountain road in North America could take. Or feel like. But I saw a bear!

I was a “Bicycle Buddy” with Ayehsa Kang of the Texas 4000 and was able to meet the group in Denver and ride with them for part of a day.

Hopefully in 2017 I'll have another grandchild join me
Hopefully in 2017 I’ll have another grandchild join me

My daughter first balked at the idea that I could take her sons safely on the W&OD but I eventually won her over and took Andy and Aiden on the trail.

The ride was canceled in 2015 due to flooding and looked like it would be again. But it went off under very gray skies. I caught some riders from the Blair Cycling Club in the first two miles and rode the next 98 with them.


An enjoyable weekend. I rode a trail on Friday then went to Rudy’s with my cancer friends on Saturday. I didn’t hook up with any riders on Sunday but Devil’s Wall got my heart rate up to an unheard of 189. But I didn’t stop.

After years of necessary cancer rides, I did a necessary MS-150 ride from Altoona to State College. I enjoyed the route so much that I went back often in the summer into the Fall.

A premier ride in Florida, it fit right with my calendar. It wasn’t horrible but it was much hillier that one can imagine for Florida. And a bonus ride with my friend, John Dockins.

Imagine you’re on a bike ride and a young woman wants to strip naked and jump into the water in front of you. Yep, happened on this ride.


Honorable Mentions: Jeremiah Bishop Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, St. Simons Island, Trexlertown


Reston, Va. Plumber’s Draft.

For submission of yet another Royal Order of the Iron Crotch Award (my 6th), these were my statistics for the year:

Name: Barry Sherry
Rider Class: BB
Total Miles: 8,100
Longest Ride: 105 miles (Jeremiah Bishop Alpine Gran Fondo, Harrisonburg)
Number of miles commuting: Zero
Percent of miles on Potomac Pedaler Riders: 0.5%
Date reached 5000 miles: August 11
Most miles in a month: 1,331 (July)
Most miles in a week: 469 (during Ride the Rockies – mountain miles)
Number of weeks without a ride: Zero
Number of 100-mile rides: Five
Most interesting story: Extreme Skinny Dipping

More than the miles, I was pleased that I ended the year averaging 36.0 miles per ride, my highest average miles per ride. I may be getting slower but I can ride longer.

I rode 21 fewer days in 2016 than in 2015 but averaged more than three miles farther per ride.

I met Mooshi on the W&OD in December
I met Mooshi on the W&OD in December

In the end, it was a good riding year. But I miss and will always miss my dad.

In Memory of Rev. Harry C. Sherry,  (1929-2016). Photo: May 2012

Reflections on the Year – 2015

My Top Ten* Cycling Moments of the Year

In chronological order

1. Ride the Rockies

My third straight year going to Colorado to ride these big mountains. I don’t know why but my favorite climb was the 14 mile dirt road up and over 12,000′ Cottonwood Pass. The legs felt great that day. Best day of the year, in fact. I rode 105 but could have easily ridden 50 more.


2. Texas 4000

After Ride the Rockies I went up to Estes Park thinking I would run into the Texas 4000, then giving up, then meeting and riding with them.

3. Chey and Chelsea in Altoona

It wasn’t the full Jacob’s Hero Ride that I had hoped but was very glad to have Chey Hillsgrove and Chelsea Johnson join me for two days of riding in Bedford and Blair counties.


4. Early mornings in Delaware

A fun week at a beach house in South Bethany, Delaware, began each morning with a 30-40 mile ride. Delicious!

Canal - South Bethany
Canal – South Bethany

5. Ohio

On my way to Indiana I stopped to ride through Piqua and Lockington, Ohio, two places I lived when I was 9-12 years old.


6. Spokes of Hope – Indy

Surprised friends Ken and Cindi Hart by showing up to their Spokes of Hope ride near Indianapolis.

Barry trailed by Julie
Barry trailed by Julie

7. Trexlertown

The community of cancer survivors combined with riding on the velodrome in Trexlertown. Bonus ride to Tipton on Saturday.

8. New French Friends

On the W&OD Trail I saw a man and daughter on a recumbent pulled over so I stopped and asked “Where did you start and where are you going?” I was surprised to learn they started in Vancouver and were cycling to Key West. Thomas and Sylvaine Houdy, from Lyon, France, and their children, Theo and Elsa, took 11 months off for a trip of a lifetime.

Cold and rainy near Williamsburg
Cold and rainy near Williamsburg


9. Meeting my Amish cousins

Imagine the surprise on young Amish couple, Keith and Julie Zimmerman, riding their bicycles to church when I slowed down and told her that I was related to her. When she told me her last name was Wenger I knew were were related and tried to explain it to her. I don’t think she believed me.


10. Livestrong

Brought in Alex Shepherd’s father, Dan, and he and I had a couple days riding before the event then 100 miles fighting cancer.



11. Ride with Dad

A beautiful Fall day I was able to meet my dad and my sister. At 86 the thought is always there it may be his last ride on a bike.

Pinkerton High Trestle
Pinkerton High Trestle

12. The Governor

A quasi-private ride with the governor of Delaware, Jack Markell. Of course I wore a Texas jersey to a Delaware ride.


2015 was my top mileage year by 1500 miles. I rode 8,078 miles (or 13,000 km because that looks cooler). Using the format for Potomac Pedalers’ Iron Crotch Award (for 5,000 miles):

Total Miles: 8,078  (I prefer 13,000 kilometers)


Longest Ride – Crested Butte to Salida, CO over Cottonwood Pass, CO. – 106 miles.

Date on which 5,000 was achieved – Aug. 22 at the Spokes of Hope Ride in Indianapolis

Most miles in a Month — 1,232 (July)

Most miles in a week — 521 During Ride the Rockies

Number of Zero mile weeks – None

Number of 100 mile days – Three

And I will add for 242 rides the average was 33.38 miles per ride.

Most interesting story – My Amish cousins.

And that’s it. Another year. No falls or crashes (always a plus)! It was a good year but I still had 123 days without a ride. Lazy, lazy, lazy. I don’t know what 2016 holds for me. I want to do an epic ride for children’s cancer awareness and research but things have to fall in order. I love France, Italy, and Switzerland but don’t know if I will get back this year. I hope wherever it is I ride safe, make new friends, and most of all, continue to find peace on the bike.

*I can’t count

Reflections on the Year – 2014


For the second straight year, a year of great riding was marred by the passing of a friend. I reached 5,000 miles in October but slowed towards the end due to tendonitis or a torn meniscus or both. But then found the will to suffer through a cold December to reach 6,000 miles.

In order of chronology, here are my top ten rides:

(1) Riding in PennsylvaniaAbandoned Turnpike and Ligonier – Riding with the college kids has been fun the past three years and this year’s adventure through the tunnels at Breezewood and on to Ligonier would be no exception. On both days I rode in small groups with Jamie Roberts who would die on the road in Kentucky 10 days later.

(2) Ride the Rockies (Multiple Entries) – My second time and it is a blast riding in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. I missed the first day due to a wedding then extended by a day to ride over Berthoud Pass to Winter Green, Colorado, with Bradley Allen. But it was a somber ride as we had just received the news of Jamie’s death.

(3) Stelvio Pass – I went to Italy with Trek Travel to ride in the Dolomites. I did not know much about these Italian climbs and I loved them all, none more than the 48 switchbacks one must navigate to climb over Stelvio Pass.

(4) Three Country Ride – Imagine a ride starting in Switzerland, going into Germany, then to France, back to Germany and ending in Switzerland. I did that in July with friend, Ben Z.

(5) Crater Lake and Alex – I planned to ride around Crater Lake, Oregon, and to ride with 12 year-old, Alex Shepherd. I achieved one of those. I rode around Crater Lake (it was awesome) but was at least able to visit with the Shepherd family even if we didn’t ride.

(6) Home Sweet Home – I’m about as native Pennsylvanian as one can be except that my grandmother was born in Oregon in 1907 (and then moved back to Pa.). She never returned but I did, doing a 50 mile ride in and around Sweet Home, Oregon.

(7) Washington – I promised Chey Hillsgrove that if he biked across the country again I would meet him at the finish. On their next-to-last day, I met him in Port Townsend, Washington, and rode 45 miles with him as part of a 70-mile day. And I went over 24,906 miles cancer-free (should that be a separate entry?).

24,906.25 miles – Cancer-free

(8) Mt Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb My seventh straight year up the mountain, I came that close to not going. But I was encouraged by my daughter, Ashley. I didn’t push myself, we had the worst weather in seven years, but I can’t say that I really suffered. All that riding in Colorado and Italy must have been good for something. And we saw a moose. Or two.

(9) Livestrong Challenge
Great weather and great company, I didn’t ride 100 miles but it wasn’t about the miles. It was about riding for Jake The Hero Grecco and Alex Shepherd.

(10) Ride of Silence
– I learned on June 14 that Jamie Roberts was killed and as I rode with
Bradley Allen up Berthoud Pass in Colorado I thought about organizing a
Ride of Silence for Jamie. That came to fruition on October 26, two
days after Jamie’s 25th birthday.

I am thankful for every ride, for every day of health. I don’t know what 2015 holds outside trying to organize a ride for to raise money for children’s cancer research. This I do know: the rides that become my “Top Ten” are rarely expected, rather something happens on the ride that makes them so memorable.

Peace and safe riding!


Verified by MonsterInsights