I am Bill Potere and I guess you could say I am a mountain biker turned road biker! My adult interest
in bicycling actually came from riding an "off road" motorcycle on motocross trails. However, my concerns for destroying some of nature's finest places and noise pollution eventually led me to try a mountain bike. One day and I was hooked.
The northern suburbs of Detroit where I live have an abundance of public land with hills and trails just right for mountain biking. I don't have to ride more than half a mile to enjoy unlimited fun in the woods.
In 1991, the Detroit Free Press announced that they were sponsoring the first "Michigander", a 350 mile ride across the state.
Since there would be a combination of Rails to Trails and road riding, my mountain bike would be perfect. I signed up, trained, and the rest is history. Even though camping at the end of each day was not something I really looked forward to, the ride was great fun. I met lots of fellow bicyclers and learned a great deal about bicycling.
One of the early lessons was that the tires on my mountain bike didn't really lend themselves to highway riding. My next ride was a five day loop around the southern part of Nova Scotia. I changed my tires to a smoother, hybrid tire and found the going much easier.
In 2001, as my daughter was finishing high school, we decided that it would be fun to do a father-daughter ride. The Michigander was in its tenth year and seemed like an appropriate adventure for us. As I reflect on the training and ride, I am sure that the entire experience was one of our most important bonding activities.
With each additional ride I began realize that a road bicycle would make life much easier. So in 2004, as I was planning a northern Wisconsin ride, I finally purchased a Cannondale Silk Road bike. It took a lot of adjustment, but I eventually got comfortable and learned to ride with toe clips.
There have been lots of rides since with my Cannondale. I have lost track of the exact mileage but a quick calculation brings me to around 10,000 miles. The last four years have allowed me to bike year round, as I spend the winters in Florida where my bike club rides three days a week.
As I was finishing the winter of 2010 in Florida, I thought an early summer ride would be a good transition back to the north. The Shuttleguy Tours offered WISPRIDE in early June so I signed up. After six months of flatland riding in Florida, the hills of southern Wisconsin offered all the challenge I needed. Rick, Tym and the Shuttleguy experience made it all worthwhile. I returned for the second annual WISPRIDE.
In mid-August, I will meet up with my Florida biking friends for a five day tour around the northern tip of Nova Scotia. Cape Breton Island is as wild as Nova Scotia gets, so this should be one of my most exciting rides. Too bad the Shuttleguy doesn't support this ride!