I’m Dave Harney and the administrator for Ozaukee Bike Routes. Perhaps some of you wonder who I am and why do I do this? The answer is simple: because I like bicycling, computer programming and I’m concerned about how our car culture affects our environment. I’d simply like to encourage people to use their cars less and their bikes more – especially for fitness and recreation where the mode of transportation is optional. The goal of Ozaukee Bike Routes website is make that transition easy and fun. It also helps that I’m an old retired guy with time on his hands :-)
My personal journey with bicycles started, like many children, during my grade school years where, except for winter, my bicycle was my constant companion. Bike riding was a joyful experience that gave me a sense of power and freedom – it allowed me to explore and expand my world.
Once I realized an automobile driver’s license was on the horizon, I abandoned my bike like it was a dead raccoon and never thought about a bicycle again until I was in my early thirties and getting an ever expanding waistline.
I rode a conventional two wheel diamond frame bike for the next 30 years. This time period involved many wonderful long distance bike tours and numerous one day events – including one double century ride and lots of 100 mile days. I was cycling two to four thousand miles a year – until arthritic problems in my neck, back and wrists nearly brought my cycling to an abrupt halt. Here’s a little bike history for my wife Rosalee and me:
40+ years ago - me:
Yellowstone via the Bear Tooth Pass:
Snow in the pass:
A Colorado tour:
In her mid forties, Multiple Sclerosis forced Rose to give up her single bike so we switched to a series of tandems – first a regular 2 wheel, then a 2 wheel recumbent, and finally a recumbent trike:
In my mid sixties, due to arthritis issues, I nearly quit cycling but then found I could continue pain-free on a two wheel recumbent bike – my Volae kept me cycling and touring for the next 13 years and averaging about three thousand miles a year of pain-free fun and exercise.
As I turn 77 years of age, I realize that my stability on a 2 wheel bike of any kind is becoming a concern – especially in heavy traffic conditions where quick reflexes are very important. I’ve now switched to a trike and expect another 13 years of great riding. I find a trike to be the most carefree and comfortable of all cycling machines and I have total control in any traffic situation. Because I expect to tour some long distances and good-sized hills, I equipped the trike with a Bionx electric assist. Although it's not legal to turn on the electric assist on most bike trails, it is completely legal to engage it on public roadways. I see no reason to have the effects of aging get in the way of exploring and expanding my world. Rose and I now both have trikes:
I hope to see many of you on the Ozaukee Bike Routes – just keep an eye out for an old guy on a trike!