2014-09-John Belansky

Our Focus this month is on John Belansky, recent member and one time Evil Knievel wannabe.

When I was four, my siblings and neighborhood friends taught me how to ride a two wheeler. I rode my bike to school starting in the second grade. These were the years I rode beat up stingray bikes with no gears and foot brakes. With Evil Knievel all the rage in the 70s I remember making jumps and riding wheelies.
Through middle school and high school my bicycle was my mode of transportation. The bike had a rack on the back over the rear wheel for my basketball or baseball glove. Even when I went away to college I had a bike. My 10 speed got me to class when I stayed to take a summer class after my junior year.
There was a lull in my riding in my 20s and 30s.
When my kids started riding two wheelers, I couldn’t keep up running along side them so I bought a department store bike with wide knobby tires. The bike riding bug was back. I would take that bike to the D&R Canal and ride the shaded path. My rides would eventually get up to 30 miles. Then I bought a bike I thought would be my last. It was a Giant hybrid that was perfect for the canal or the road. I bought a bike rack for our van that held four bikes (one spot for each person in our family). I took the bikes on shore vacations and to Washington Crossing for canal rides up the PA side and down the NJ side. I started doing charity rides, riding more frequently and going farther. I signed up for the 50 mile ride MS Coast the Coast ride. We started at Sandy Hook and rode to Belmar. The 50 milers turned back at that point but others were continuing ahead. I wanted to continue ahead too but needed a road bike.
So I got a road bike. My kids wondered why I needed so many bikes! Along with the road bike came the rest of the bike gear including the spandex bike shorts. My daughters cringe when I walk in after a ride. I joined PFW shortly after getting the road bike. I have found a new circle of friends that make the rides so enjoyable. I would like to thank the ride leaders who have taken me places I would never have gone on my own. I’d also like to thank the Board of Directors and all the volunteers at PFW. John

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