2014-03 David Chadwick

dave chadwick smallOur Focus this month is on David Chadwick, long time bicycler but only recently a PFW member.

I was born and raised in South River, NJ, son of a local business owner and the youngest of four kids.  I got my first bike when I was about 6 years old, and quickly took to exploring the neighborhood with my best friend who lived next door.

I rode quite a bit in grade school and high school before getting my driver’s license.  My friends and I would even bike down to Point Pleasant and Seaside on the weekends.  After graduating from South River High School, I earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers.  In college I took up skiing avidly, and did not bicycle much in those years.  For my first job after college, I worked as a test engineer at the RCA space craft manufacturing facility in East Windsor, NJ (sadly no longer there).  I tested electrical systems on satellites, and got to do some traveling to launch sites.

In 1996, I went to China for the launch of a communications satellite.  I got to stay on a military base in rural China, which was quite an experience to say the least. On that trip I remember waking up in Cheng Du and Xi Chang and seeing armies of commuters on bicycles as the locals made their way to work each day – quite a sight!  On my way home from China, I stopped in Hawaii and coasted down Maui’s Mount Haleakala by bike, which was a breath-taking experience.  Around the same time I did the NYC Five Boros ride.  That was an easy ride, except for the last leg where we peddled across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.  I also used to pack up my bike and head down to Island Beach State Park in the summers pretty frequently.  I would time my excursion to coincide with low tide so I could bike on the wet sand all the way to jetty across from the Barnegat lighthouse inlet.

In the early 2000’s, I met my wife, who is not really into biking because she had a nasty fall off a bike as a child (but I hope to get her out this year on the Wednesday Tow path rides).  We spent a few years relocating around the country for various jobs—Dallas, TX, for two years; Rochester, NY, and Pittsburgh, PA, for roughly another two years.  After all the moving we had enough and decided to come back to NJ – in short we were homesick.

I am currently working as a product engineer at Finisar in Horsham, PA.  This past summer I joined the company team for the 60 mile MS ride in Gettysburg, PA.  If you like hills go to Gettysburg!

I have been with PFW since early 2013 and without the club’s help I honestly do not think I could have embraced bicycling fully again.  I thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie of the members and the feeling of road safety that traveling in a group provides.  It’s been great fun getting back in shape again.  Favorite rides include Andy’s Friday from Pennington (so convenient since I live there), and Roland’s & Pat’s Saturday Tri County.

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