2011-01 Dan Rappaport

Our Focus this month is on “Dashing Dan, the Perimeter Man”, Dan Rappaport.

In 1977, I saw an ad calling for a meeting of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed area bike riders, I went & it was on that group’s subsequent rides I met Mike & Phyllis Suber. In June ’78, I saw an ad at Jay’s for the Raritan Valley Round-Up. That was the first fund-raiser of the “Central Jersey Bicycle Club.” I joined that club. Then, in ’81, in a laundromat at the Lawrence Shopping Center, an ad for forming a bike club in Princeton got me to respond, get Mike & Phyllis to join. I became one of the five incorporators of the Princeton Freewheelers.

During the second or third year Princeton Event. Maxine Brimmer & I were splitting SAG duties. Someone failed to black out an arrow in Plainsboro & six miles later, she was at US130 before she realized her mistake. We were waiting at Palmer Stadium.

In those days, we all learned a lot from our founder Dick Bograd. On one ride, Frank Stanski complained the route was too easy, so knowing Frank had eaten three “Fireman’s Specials” at the Milford Pancake Breakfast, Dick turned uphill onto CR 519 and Frank had more trouble than anyone else on that ride.

In the first 5 years of the club’s existence, I served on the Board as Treasurer & Ride Captain. Designing ride routes was always of interest to me. Included were the first 10 years of the Princeton Event & also the routes for the G.E.A.R.-UP at the College of New Jersey (then Trenton State) in ’85 we hosted.At the 1984 G.E.A.R.-UP in Towson, MD, when they announced that the next rally would be hosted at Trenton State College, the name solicited a chorus of boos. That rally wasn’t well attended.

Later in ’85, I left the Board but continued riding with the club for a while, but also stopped shortly after. I ‘d enjoyed riding in the ‘C’ class, but the rides got to be less frequent & I didn’t enjoy riding other classes.

In April ’92, when I was on my way to Frank Stanski’s weekend trip at Royal Oak Md, the bike I won on the Connecticut Tour in Oct of ’91[for having raised the most money] was stolen. After my story appeared in the CJBC newsletter (“The Hub”) someone donated a replacement bike. It was a TREK, but Van Delfino [Owner of Bicycle Rack] exchanged the frame for a Cannondale. I still ride that bike.

I’m a mileage geek. Despite failing to complete my two longest rides because I was too slow, I’ve biked approximately two hundred & fifty counties in 22 states for a total of 97,000 miles since becoming a “born-again bicyclist.”

My riding with the Free Wheelers began again in the summer of ’07. Kyle Nylander started listing evening ‘C’ rides that got me back into doing PFW events.

In the winter of ’08, an ad in “Adventure Cycling” for “The Perimeter Bicycling Association of America” caught my interest. Since then, I’ve done 12 “perimeters”; 2 states, 4 counties, 2 mountains, 3 rivers & a township. With more than 1000 perimeter miles, my name will appear on the 2010 list of people with the most perimeter miles.

The idea of collecting counties came to me from a woman named Sharon Todd at the “Cross-Ohio Bicycle Adventure” ride. 3 years later, “Adventure Cycling Magazine,” indicated Sharon was Ohio’s “Bike & Pedaling Coordinator”. Since that first Cross-Ohio event, I’ve done the ride 4 times, & also ‘Bike Virginia” 5 times, “Pedal Pennsylvania” twice and “Cycle Across Maryland” 5 times. In the last 10 years, the idea of utility mileage (running errands by bike – biking to the start of rides, etc.) has interested me alot. In two of the years that I biked to my job with Medicaid, first on E. State Street in Trenton & then at Quakerbridge Plaza, there were no US 1 overpasses at the malls. Those were my best years for mileage: 4,700+ and 5,400+.

During 2010, my car has been towed three times. Each instance involved bicycling activities and being stranded overnight. Can I top that in 2011?

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