“Shut Up Legs. Do What I Tell You To Do!” – Jens Voigt
The bicycle has a certain magnetism. My bike has drawn me to places I never thought I’d be and people I’d never meet. By riding my bike passionately, I’m a member of a non-exclusive club where everyone gets a wave and a lending hand. While I’ve always admired that about the sport I love, it wasn’t until I started this journey that I realized the magnitude of the bike’s power over good people.
When Covid threatened to steal the fleeting opportunities of formidable learning from his two precious daughters, he and his wife Megan packed up their Tribeca, NYC home and moved to the fringe of its grip. The devoted couple settled on Seneca Lake in Lodi, NY, and enrolled their children in a Montessori school where they found the continuity they sought.
Michael took his job in finance with him, and Megan’s law background has been an asset to their new community in advocating sustainable farming practices. Together they built a home away from the city where they fashioned maple syrup from the sap of their trees, picked produce from their garden, and witnessed the wonders of nature right outside the door.
Michael met me on the Empire State Trail in Rochester, where I left off the previous day.
After seven weeks of dodging traffic and the hypervigilance of open road riding, the prospect of a bike path connecting Western NY to home was appealing. It was clear we had made the proper choice.
Whether the scenic beauty and exciting goings-on distracted us or a less than user-friendly design, the trail was surprisingly hard to navigate. We stopped for directions and sometimes had no choice but to double back. We smiled all the while as the experience surrounded us, and we took every carefree moment to tell our stories and learn about each other what our bikes had suspected all along.
It wasn’t my best day, but Michael selflessly stewarded us home and extended the invitation to open his home. We gathered ourselves and negotiated the winding drive of the Brosterman’s Seneca Lake Retreat.
One word, Spectacular! From the stunning views to the lakeside entertainment, the Brostermans have made the most of what circumstances presented. We boarded the tram from their cliffside home to the lake, where Megan awaited us with a recovery feast.
We sat like one big family with the Brostermans, fielded questions from Michael and Megan’s confident and intelligent daughters, and shared experiences of our phase of parenthood with the couple. The kids swam in the lake, and we did everything possible to make it last as long as possible.
It did, and tomorrow my bike will take me to another place I’ve never been to see people I’ve never met. This day with our new forever friends I will never forget.
About the DIRT Dad Fundo Pledge for Day Fifty-Two—Michael Mikolay
Here is what Michael had to say—”I got into cycling during COVID and wished I found this community sooner. I’ve always been impressed with the work Chris does to promote cycling and DIRT. He was one that I followed on Zwift / Strava early on given our mutual connections to CCNS and I’ve always been blown away at his dedication to riding. Keep up the great work Chris and your journey is inspiring me to one day tackle crossing America on two wheels!”
Amount Raised to Date—$9,579
Thank you, Michael!
Now off to Verona, NY!
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, Endurance.biz, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!