- BC Games
He’s in love with the open road
He’s an old man on a bike and he isn’t slowing down.
That is Duncan’s Glenn Goodwin who’s turning 70 in November, but who also just wrapped up a trans-American, 88-day, 6,065-kilometre bike tour.
And he’s also got marathons and more bike tour plans in the works.
Goodwin, who likes to refer to himself as either “crazy guy on a bike” and “old man on a bike” in his journal -style blog, just returned from his fifth United States bike tour.
“It was probably one of the toughest rides I’ve ever done,” he said.
The latest expedition was the Trans tour which began May 25 and finished Aug. 11.
Part of that trip was taken with his buddy Bill Brookes who tagged along until they reached Wichita.
Goodwin’s first big bike trek was from Prince George (where he lived at the time) to his buddy’s place in Kamloops and was inspired by a bet he couldn’t do it.
Although no money was involved, bragging rights of the 300-mile trip planted a seed.
It took awhile to grow though.
“In between that, I worked quite a bit,” Goodwin, who’s been living in Duncan now for about seven to eight years., explained of why his next bike trip didn’t happen until 1993 (Prince George to San Diego) and then his third in 1994 (Seattle to Maine).
“Since then I have crossed Canada three times and down the West Coast twice, up the East Coast and across the U.S.A. five times,” he summed.
Goodwin mostly rides solo on trips but enjoys company when it’s available. But when it’s not, “It really gives you a chance to put life in perspective,” he said. “I think about my family. I think about how I can improve my small business. I think about running.”
Goodwin owns a small embroidery shop. He’s also a member of the Cowichan Valley Athletics Club under coach Sheron Chrysler who recently pushed him to compete in his first marathon in Vancouver.
But biking’s his go-to.
And the sport’s changed over the years, seeing Goodwin start on a woodward mountain bike to cruising now on a custom-built touring bike.
On tours, he also hauls a 110-pound Bob trailer.
The advocate for supporting local bike shops and use of helmets, said he has also associated for the past 23 years with the Adventure Cycling Club who maps his routes, mostly in the States.
“I think the number one challenge is it doesn’t matter how many times you do the same ride, it’s never the same,” he said, noting weather on his recent trip was a discouragement, especially slogging along in 105 degrees through Kansas.
“Everything was going bad at that point,” he said, not knowing if he could make it through.
Thanks to a friend, Susan Marshall, reading his blog and who emailed him telling him to give his head a shake, Goodwin was able to motor on.
And every day he averaged 55 to 80 miles.
“It was the first time I didn’t do a century ride,” he said, of clocking 100 miles per day.
Goodwin hands folks he meets along the way his card, which features his blog.
As of last week, he had 72,000 hits, which isn’t too far off from his goal of 100,000.
He wrote posts every evening on the trip, spending about two to three hours before he hit the hay.
And that’s how folks he connected with along the way could get in touch. That included the guy who gave him and Bill a ride back seven miles from where they’d taken the wrong turn and biked the biggest hills they’d see over the entire trip back to where they started or the two big fellas who came to their campsite with goodies baked by their wives.
There were also some not-so-nice meet and greets.
“There are the guys in their one-tonne diesel trucks who when they get close enough to pass, floor it and make a bunch of black smoke,” Goodwin recalled. “All their brains are under their foot,” he said, noting he’d just wave and swear under his breath as you never know who in the states is “packing.”
He did that with folks who threw pop bottles at him as well.
“The majority of people were courteous,” he said. “They were concerned with the hot weather and would offer water.
“The people in the small U.S., back east, I can’t emphasize enough how welcoming they were.”
Goodwin gives kudos to many folks who’ve supported him along the way, including his wife and children as well as Chrysler his running coach.
And he hasn’t had it yet.
Goodwin’s set his sights on doing the Victoria marathon in October as well as another ride, maybe the Oregon Coast again, this year.
That and a half-marathon in Hawaii in December.
Oh, and not to forget to mention qualifying for the Boston Marathon’s also on his bucket list.
And his tips for folks his age and keeping active: “Don’t ask me about nutrition. I ate a lot of hamburgers on my bike ride,” he said.
“I don’t think I’m an inspiration. I’m just me.”
He encourages folks interested in bike tours to contact him as he’s got tips galore and many do’s and don’ts for first-timers.
Visit his blog here or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org