Laird Senior Breaks Personal Record

Laird Senior Breaks Personal Record
Ron Stone of Laird Township decided 2016 was the year to go the distance, and try to set a new personal cycling record.

Laird Senior Breaks Personal Record
After reading in the Quick Book of Canadian Facts that the width across Canada was 5186 Km, Ron decided that was what he would do. So he started cycling 20 km each day on Lake George Road, between the bridge and the bottom of the hill past the Laird Fairgrounds.

He did 10 Km in the morning and 10 Km in the evening, which he found easy to manage. “The hard part was making up that distance if I took a day off or had bad weather. The next day I would do double the distance so I didn’t get behind schedule”, says Ron who completed his 5186 Km goal on September 21st.

When Ron was 15 years old he cycled from St. Georges Avenue in Sault Ste. Marie to Goulais and back, setting a personal best distance of 52 miles in one day. This summer Ron set an incredible new PB of 83 miles in one day, all on Lake George Road. Ron, who turned 77 years old in July, says, “I will never beat this record, I will never try, I was exhausted.”  

Ron's 1978 Super Cycle.
Ron's 1978 Super Cycle.
Ron keeps it simple, no fancy new ultra-light bike or hi-tech riding gear required. He did it all on a 1978 Super Cycle he got as a birthday gift in that year. He wears big winter gloves while riding, because the handlebar grips are too hard. He also prefers a soft toque over a bike helmet, but will wear one if he has to on organized rides like the Mackinaw Bridge ride, which he did a few weeks ago.

Ron enjoys cycling the bike trails around Mackinaw, Alanson and Petoskey, but finds the accommodations too pricey for his pension, so he sleeps in his car. Ron removes the back seats from his Corolla and sleeps in the trunk. He likes to get to bed early, so he finds the trunk perfect for sleeping. “It’s insulated which makes it quiet and cool and when you crawl in head first it’s nice and dark.”

Ron wrote a thank you note and hand delivered them to his neighbours along Lake George Road to show his appreciation to everyone who honked, waved, and passed him with care, while he was out on the road this summer.