2013-09 Bruce Kirschner

Bruce 1309 FocusOur Focus this month is on Bruce Kirschner – Occasional Leader & long time member & Event volunteer.

Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, the only bicycle I had was my brother’s hand-me-down bicycle until age 12, when I purchased a new bike with money I earned delivering newspapers.  At 16, I rode a heavy bike with a basket for the local store to deliver groceries in the neighborhood. Years later, perhaps 1985, I went on my first PFW ride called “Corporate Capers” with ride leader Linda Konrad Byers, and then got hooked on bicycle riding as a social sport.

So I volunteered to help at the Princeton Event, by making 1500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in Ed Post’s garage the Friday evening before the event. It took me over 20 years before I would ever eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich again. I’ve been the PFW “Event Day” registration coordinator for as long as I can remember. I started leading rides after Chris Cook kindly let me try his blue Cannondale during a ride. The next day, I went to Dick Bograd’s Bicycle shop in Lambertville and purchased my first road bike.

I started leading B rides with my son Jason at age 12. He’d been tutored in the art of bicycling by Ed Post and did his first century on Don Sprague’s Belmar ride. A month later, Jason did a MS 150 ride from Mechanicsburg PA to Harpers Ferry, WV with me. I got food poisoning the evening before the ride, but we rode the next day and Jason went ahead and finished 2 hours before me. Jason subsequently retired from biking at 16 to pursue other interests. I also led D rides with my daughter Mara at age 10. However, I had to pay Mara 30 cents per mile to ride with me. Years later, we rode in the Dordogne Valley in France, Quebec, and the Horsey Hundred in Kentucky and I didn’t have to pay her to ride!

For 15 years, bike trips in West Dover, Vermont on Labor Day weekends and also a few weekends in Lancaster PA were fun to organize.  The trips have resulted in the introduction of three couples that eventually married and I was invited to Oxford, England to attend one couple’s wedding.  After VT & PA, the trips went international by renting a farmhouse in Provence; a Villa in Italy; and a Chateau with a moat in the Loire Valley. Many PFW members have participated in those international trips, where the rental, delivery and pick up of bikes to our place of stay were arranged for.

Biking with Diane has included Cuba, Sicily, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, France, and the Lofoton Islands of Norway. We’ve met very interesting people, made lifelong friends and hosted bike friends from Australia and England. Bicycling has been great for me, traveling, meeting new people and then gaining bicycling travel buddies.

My cycling has included many places: numerous states included my toughest ride called “Border Raiders”, (Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri): 500 miles with  plenty of hills, 100 degree temps, and non-existent shade; various islands in the Caribbean where the cruise ship stopped at the ports; Prague to Budapest; and the Hills in Umbria, Italy.

This year has included Solvang, CA with buddy Al from Texas; Paso Robles CA, wine country with my daughter Mara; Madison, Wisconsin with Don Sprague, and Door County, Wisconsin with Diane.  An upcoming cycling trip in September will be in Portland, Oregon. In 2014, I’m going back to the LeGro bike training camp in Majorca, Spain and also cycling in Tuscany on the Mediterranean coast. In a few years, I’d like to do a bike trip with my four grandchildren.

I reside in Cranbury, retired from a daily commute to the big apple and currently have a tax practice in NJ.  Besides biking and traveling, I enjoy weight training, taking yoga and spin classes. I also attempt to golf and trade in the stock market.

See you on the road.  Bruce

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