I say you can learn a lot about someone if you ride bike with them for 3 or more consecutive days. I think Yogi Berra said, “.. you can observe a lot by just watching.”

Recently we completed our annual Vermont spring cycling trip in Middlebury with a great bunch of guys. Every year, every ride is always good and always different. This year was no exception. The cast of characters made for exceptional cycling and truly enjoyable shared moments and many laughs.

“I’m a real simple thinker”

We had our own Yogi Berra this year in Middlebury. I learned that I not only like biking with Von Perry, but that I simply like the guy. “Why, you might ask?” Well you’ll just have to go biking with him to capturer the true essence of the man.

“I only eat what taste good to me.” “My grandmother ate dandelions and she died, so they can’t be that good for you.”

Von is a 50 some year old who took up cycling 20 or so years ago to get fit. He quit smoking and put a small bible in his shirt pocket to replace his pack of butts. I never asked him if every time he reach to get a cigarette if he would read a biblical passage. It didn’t take Von long to get fit, real fit and to become quite successful at bicycle racing and time trailing. I remember my first race with Von in Campbelton, New Brunswick and within the first 2 miles Von took off and left the entire field of racers behind and sailed to an easy victory. No one ever even caught a glimpse of him that day. I guess there were many other days like that.

Will my heart beat fast if I’m having a heart attack” ” My Heart is not like yours”

However, the reason I like Von is not because he is a great cyclist or successful competitor. The reason I like Von is because he is unassuming, humble and Genuine. He is REAL. Not only that, but he is REALLY FUNNY. I’m not sure what was more sore after hard riding in Vermont, my legs or my stomach from laughing so hard and so much.

When tackling a difficult climb or trying to stick with the pack. “Just keep pedaling.’ Don’t be afraid to suffer, they’re suffering too.”

I knew that I had to capture in writing and share some of our experiences in Vermont so that when I am older, much older that I will be able to look back on the “time we biked with Von in Vermont.” If you ever have a chance to ride with Von, do it. That is if you can keep up!!

If you don’t know where you’re going you might end up some place else.” Yogi Berra