February Riders of the Month: Walt and Janna Baldwin

For the romantic month of February, we’ve decided to feature a couple who loves to ride together—throughout the U.S. and in Europe! Meet Walt and Janna Baldwin, our February Riders of the Month. These lovebirds have ridden thousands of miles together and are active members of the ElliptiGO community.

Walt and Janna grew up at opposite ends of the country—she is from Cooperstown, N.Y. (home of the Baseball Hall of Fame!) and Walt was born in Northern California and later moved to Oklahoma. They met in San Diego, California, in 1993 when Janna was working at Scripps Reference Lab and Walt was a Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. They married in 1996 and had two children, Dustin and Berkley, who are both now adults. Today, Janna is a Medical Technologist with Quest Diagnostics and Walt is retired.

They don’t describe themselves as athletes, but Walt says he and Janna have always been active. “We used to run, hike, and bike together,” says Walt. “Now we ‘GO’ together. And Janna still hikes.” 

They first saw ElliptiGO bikes in San Diego, back when the stand-up bikes were still in the prototyping stage. Eventually, they moved to San Clemente, California, where they still reside. Janna and Walt found that they could rent ElliptiGO bikes from Bicycles San Clemente

Walt says, “We rented for a couple of years prior to purchasing Janna’s first one for her birthday in 2014.” Janna adds, “Walt finally bought his GO (instead of always borrowing mine) in 2018.”

Soon after that, they added more bikes to their stable. Now the couple owns five ElliptiGO bikes: they keep two 11Rs and one 8C in San Clemente and two 8Cs in Switzerland, expressly for Wandervogel European tours (learn more about Wandervogel tours).

Janna and Walt ride both separately and together. “Individual rides are where we work on whatever we want to improve or feel like challenging ourselves with that day or moment, without impacting each other,” shares Janna. She also uses her GO to supplement her hiking training.

On their rides together, communication is key. “Normally we ride together one or two days a week,” says Janna. “We pretty much stay together. We let each other know when we need to take a rest break or stop for a photo opp.” 

“In our rides together, Janna normally sets our pace,” adds Walt. During climbs, they each ride at their own pace and meet at the top of the hill. 

Walt says their rides together are focused on pleasure. When the weather is nice, they go on breakfast rides. They also ride their stand-up bikes on errands, like their biweekly 14-mile trip to pick up their produce box from the farmstand. “When we ride together, we are just out enjoying the fresh air. We’re not really thinking about exercise, or how fast we are going, or any of that. The health benefits from being on the GO are just icing on the cake,” he explains. 

Walt says that riding his GO has helped him reclaim some of the mobility he lost after 30 years in the Marine Corps left him “a little dinged up.” He says, “I really can’t run anymore, and riding my ElliptiGO bike has helped me regain the joy I used to get from running.”

Another aspect of ElliptiGO bikes that brings this couple joy is the community. They joined GERC, the Global ElliptiGO Riders Club, in 2019, and Walt is now a GERC Board Member.

“Most of the people we socialize with we met through ElliptiGOing with our local group or through GERC,” notes Walt. “GOers are a welcoming bunch of riders.”

Traveling with their stand-up bikes is also a priority for the Baldwins. Janna says that most of their trips are built around biking somewhere, and to that end, they have several cycling trips planned for 2023. In March, they’ll tackle El Tour de Zona, a three-day ride in Arizona. In May they’ll head back to Arizona for the Mt. Lemmon Hill Climb—a ride that’s ranked 33rd on the list of the 100 toughest bike climbs in America! In July, Walt’s doing the RAGBAI eight-day ride across Iowa solo (Janna’s already completed it on her GO). They’ll travel and ride together again in September, heading to Italy for a 12-day Climb, Wine, and Dine ride with Wandervogel.

The couple has been traveling through Europe on their stand-up bikes since 2016. Dustin and Berkley joined their parents for one of the trips, a cycling tour of Spain and France. “On the tour they did not ride GOs, but cheated by riding things with seats,” jokes Walt.

As much as our bikes are conversation starters here, they really are in Europe,” says Walt. In addition to chatting with people curious about their GOs, making new friends with fellow travelers, and taking in the gorgeous scenery, they say they really enjoy the sense of history they experience while riding internationally. “It just drives home how new our nation is,” Walt says. 

Janna and Walt both cite climbing the mountains of Italy and Switzerland on their ElliptiGOs as one of their biggest riding accomplishments. “We rode five passes in six days: Ofen, Stelvio, Gavia, Aprica, and Bernina, during Wandervogel’s climbing tour,” says Walt. “It was beautiful, and wow! What a sense of accomplishment!”

Clearly no strangers to distances and hills, Walt and Janna have each ridden over 20,000 miles and conquered more than 1,000,000 feet of elevation. “Janna is the stronger climber,” says Walt, “She hasn’t met a hill she didn’t like and she really enjoys the downhills.”

Janna’s elevation total is currently 1,771,430 feet, and she says, “My goal for 2023 is to achieve 2,000,000 feet of elevation.” Walt’s goal this year is to finally earn Gold in Get Out and GO (GOGO), GERC’s eight-month riding challenge, which begins March 1st (join for a free 3-month trial). They also look forward to celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary in April.

Walt and Janna, thank you for sharing your ElliptiGO love story! We’ll be cheering you on as you reach new heights, Janna, and as you GO for the Gold, Walt!

You can contact ElliptiGO with nominations to Rider of the Month or share your own story. It may just be the next feature!

5 Responses

  1. Jane LeGore says:

    Congratulations, Walt & Janna! 🎊 So well deserved and a perfect GO Couple to represent how to embrace riding and exploring together!! 💕 Cheers 🥂

  2. Congratulations Walt and Janna. Semper Fi ElliptiGOers!

  3. Katie Blau says:

    Congratulations you two! See you on El Tour de Zona!

  4. Bob Rowden says:

    Perfect! Great connecting with you, Walt, at Rally Weekend and getting to know you better. Congratulations ! Good job on this, Tennille.

  5. Pete says:

    Great profile of two special people! Privilege to know ya!

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