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« ‘Excellence’ is Medicine | Main | Make youth programming fun in order to keep them engaged »
Tuesday
May082012

The Incredible Journey

Whenever I mention to someone that I have a friend (David Miller) who’s currently crisscrossing the U.S. by bike, intending to eventually touch base in all 50 states, accompanied by his faithful canine companion (Max, a five-year-old Weimaraner), they inevitably say:

“My God, with a dog! How’s the dog?”

I’m pleased to report that Max is just fine, and, apparently, really enjoying his unique adventure.

If you’re a regular reader of CBI Unbound, you already know, by now, that Miller is a 25-year industry veteran who’s worked with, among others, the Western Athletic Clubs (WAC), based in San Francisco, and Sport City, a premium Mexican chain. You also know that he decided to mark his 50th birthday in this one-of-a-kind fashion, and to promote physical activity, and raise money for several charities, along the way.

When we last checked in with Miller in March, he’d made his way from Old Town San Diego, in California, to Sarasota, Florida—a distance of 3,320 miles. Since then, he’s traversed the U.S. again, and is now in San Francisco, having logged a total of some 8,400 miles. “We’ve crossed the country twice now!” he tells us.

His agenda for the days ahead: San Francisco to Portland, Oregon; to Seattle, Washington; and, with the help of a ferry, to Homer, Alaska (population: 5,003).

Miller has had his share of interesting, exciting, and even frightening moments over the last two months, but, first, people want to know about the dog. “Max is great!” says Miller. "He doesn’t enjoy traveling in his trailer, but most definitely loves running along beside me, as well as the visiting—he likes meeting new people and new dogs all the time.”

Okay, now on to Miller.

His most recent memorable experience: “I was riding down a two-lane country road, basically out in the middle of nowhere in southwestern Colorado, with just a few houses and ranches on one side, and a Ute Indian reservation on the other,” he recalls. “I saw smoke in the distance, and just assumed that it was one of the many ‘controlled burns’ that are planned and carried out in early spring. As I rode on, though, I came across a lady in her 60s getting out of her car with two shovels, yelling, ‘There’s a fire! It’s not a planned burn! I’ve already called 911, but who knows when they’ll get here.'

“I offered to help, and she threw me a shovel. We were the first two on the scene, and the burn area was still relatively small, about 30' by 30'. We started throwing dirt on the flames, and two other neighbors joined us. Just as we were getting things under control, the fire department showed up to throw a bit of water on our work and thank us for our efforts."

His most recent frightening experience: “Pedaling through a tunnel on Highway 1 along the California coast, cars speeding by, the roar of truck engines echoing in the half-dark, and no bike lane for protection. The tunnel wasn’t all that long, but there was a bend and a blind spot. I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder to pedal through anything as fast as I did those five minutes of highway!”

CBI Unbound will continue to check in with Miller, so please continue checking in with CBI Unbound.

- Craig R. Waters is the editor-in-chief of CBI and can be reached at c.waters@fit-etc.com.

Editor’s Note: You can also follow Miller on his Website, bike50at50.com, or his blog, bike50at50.wordpress.com

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