July 2015 Rider of the Month, Always Striving to GO Farther: Katie Blau
If you could spend a week with few responsibilities beyond riding your ElliptiGO along a beautiful wooded, lakefront course, would you jump at the chance? Katie Blau, our Rider of the Month for July did. From July 9-15, she participated in her first multi-day riding event, the Bike Northwoods Tour along the scenic shore of Lake Superior in Wisconsin. Katie and the 400 other cyclists rode 50-60 miles per day, and even enjoyed a ferry ride for one day’s tour riding around an island. Learn more about Katie’s background, adventure and future goals.
1. Tell us a little about your pre-ElliptiGO background. Were you active in fitness?
I have always been a bicyclist. The first thing I ever bought with a credit card was a nice bike. I also played softball, but I was forced to retire this year since the league disbanded. I also kayak and hike. I’m a North Country National Scenic Trail volunteer, responsible for maintaining around 4 miles of trail through the Chippewa National Forest just north of my home. It’s grunt labor, but operating a chainsaw is therapeutic!
2. What model ElliptiGO do you own; when did you start riding; and what was the catalyst that caused you to invest in an ElliptiGO?
I have an 8C that I bought in April of 2012. I was walking on my treadmill in the wintertime and saw a commercial for the Street Strider. I thought that looked fun, so I got online to do some research. While searching for the Street Strider on You Tube, ElliptiGO videos also came up. The GO looked even more fun! So I test rode them both before making my decision, and the GO won hands down! I bought the GO because it was fun to ride and I was bored with my regular bike.
3. What does a general week of riding look like for you, and how does the ElliptiGO fit into your overall workout routine?
The GO is my primary workout! I ride around 4 to 5 days a week, depending on the weather. I hate riding in the rain. In the spring, if it is 40F degrees or better and the road is clear, I’ll GO!
4. Did you do any special training for this event?
I didn’t do any special training. I just ride as much as I can, and the Get on the Map points program is an awesome motivator to ride and get cool stuff!
5. Tell us a little about the ride.
We averaged around 50 miles per day. Everyone loved the GO and was impressed that I could ride that far since I wasn’t sitting down. Some riders actually stopped a ways in front of me and took a picture as I went by! I actually find the GO easier than a regular bike since you don’t have “bike butt” at the end of the day or a crick in your neck. It is more of a workout, as GOers know, but I feel better after a long ride – tired, but pain free!
One guy actually said I was an inspiration! The most common question was, “How is it on hills?” I answered, “I just drop it into Granny gear and keep GOing!” The most unnerving part of the trip was a bridge over the St. Louis River. The bridge was a combination car bridge and railroad bridge, with the railroad bridge above the main deck. While I was GOing across, a train was overhead, right above my lane. It was quite noisy and a bit scary too. Look at the picture of the bridge that I took on my way back later in the day. Luckily, there wasn’t a train that time!
6. What was your favorite aspect of the ride?
I enjoyed meeting all the nice people, but most of all I liked the fact that for six days all I had to do was eat, sleep, GO, repeat!
7. What’s next for you? What are some of your ElliptiGO-related goals for the next year?
I’m toying with the idea of doing RAGBRAI, the ride across Iowa. I’m from Iowa. When I lived there and people would find out I liked to bike, they would always ask, “Have you done RAGBRAI?” I don’t know how many times I was asked that question. It drove me nuts! But I figure, better late than never! Aside from that, each year I try to ride more miles than I did the previous year. My goals are pretty simple.