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May 2015 Riders of the Month

May 2015 Riders of the Month, Jim Hansen & Barnadette(Berni) FlynnMay Riders of Month

This month, we are proud to announce Jim Hansen and Barnadette Flynn as our May Co-Rider(s) of the Month! These two former, competitive runners both share the love for their ElliptiGO and the low-impact workout it provides. Berni is a co-founder of the Cheshire High School track program and enjoys using her ElliptiGO as an alternative to running due to knee injury. Jim found the ElliptiGO after his hip surgery years ago and has been riding ever since. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for these two and the future places they will GO.

Quick Facts About Jim
1. Tell us a little about your pre-ElliptiGO background in regards to athletics/fitness?
I had been a competitive runner for close to 40 years until 2011 when I had arthroscopic hip surgery. I love endurance sports and racing and have run about 50 marathons in those years including forays into racing Ironman distance triathlons in the 1980s, bicycle racing, and snowshoe racing. After the hip surgery, I was not able to get back into pain-free running or cycling and had no outlet for my energies or ways to stay fit.

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?
In April of 2013, I saw an article about the ElliptiGO End of Summer Classic Race and decided right away that I was going to participate. At the Boston Marathon expo, I went to the ElliptiGO booth to try one out and I liked the feel of it. At first I was going to rent one and just do the race on it, but my wife convinced me to buy one because she knew how much I missed running. I got a green 8C at the end of June and within six weeks, I had completed my first century and then a month later, I somehow ended up winning that first ElliptiGO race!

3. What does a general week of riding look like for you and how does it fit into your overall workout routine?
I teach school and like to ride at the end of the school day. It is great for clearing my mind, encouraging creativity, and planning for the next day. I generally like to ride as hard as I can and 30 miles is my favorite daily distance. I just like the idea of training as it is something I have been doing since I started running in high school. Without movement, I just don’t feel good, but riding an ElliptiGO makes me feel at least 30 years younger than I actually am! I have ridden over 13,000 miles in the two years I have owned my GO. In the winter, I ride it indoors on a trainer. I am still hoping to get back into running and snowshoe racing, but if not, the ElliptiGO does just fine for me.

4. What was your favorite aspect of the ElliptiGO Spring Classic (… or ElliptiGO Events in general since you have participated in multiple)?
My favorite part is the intensity of actually racing. I won both of the End of Summer Classic races and wanted to continue my streak at the Spring Classic, but knowing the quality of the other riders, I wasn’t sure that was going to happen. I told myself that the 10 minutes of this race might be the only competitive racing I would do all year and I wanted to make the absolute most of it. This year’s race turned into the biggest battle I have ever had in any type of race as Jeff Caron and I went back and forth alternating the lead the whole way. There were many times I was ready to concede, but somehow I kept hanging on at those moments. It was tons of fun racing neck and neck with Jeff and it brought competing on an ElliptiGO to a whole new level. I value that friendly competition more than actually winning as it was quite awesome having that experience of racing together so closely on an ElliptiGO. After the race is over, it is so much fun to meet with the other ElliptiGO riders on the leisurely rides together. My wife thinks it is great that I have a community of ElliptiGO friends who are just like me with our love for the GO! I do too!

5. What’s next for you and what are some of your ElliptiGO-related goals for the next year?
I just want to continue riding and stay away from any accidents! I hope to do a few more centuries in the fall and my goal is to finally get my time under 6 hours. I want to become a better ElliptiGO mechanic and to learn to ride a little slower, go longer, and explore more roads rather than always trying to push the average speed. I am also learning to drink or drink more as I ride. Recent events have taught me that I never want to get kidney stones again. In July, I am returning to Kenya to work in the schools in the slums of Nairobi and for the second year in a row I will miss the ElliptiGO International Cycling Day, but once I return I will be on my ElliptiGO as soon as I can and when I do, there will be a great big smile on my face and with the thought of many miles I to GO!

Quick Facts About Berni
1. Tell us a little about your pre-ElliptiGO background in regards to athletics/fitness?
I helped start girls track program at Cheshire High in the early 70s and ran for Southern Connecticut State College. I also came down to University of Maryland for Master’s Program in Exercise Physiology and continued distance running in Maryland and later, Virginia, coached by Dan Rincon in the 80s, Norm Gordon of George Mason in the early 90s and Matt Centrowitz mid-90s to 2000s. My favorite event is the mile, but my best performances came at longer distances: 1989 Army 10 miler 62:32.

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 own the 11R: first test ride July 8, 2014, purchase August 18, 2014. I first found out about ElliptiGO in a Delta Airlines magazine on my way to Houston with my son to take care of funeral arrangements, etc. for his Dad. I was very intrigued, especially after reading the ElliptiGO Galveston blog, but got caught back up in the teaching/coaching whirlwind so it took me six months to sign up for a test ride and another six months to actually do the test ride. Thank you to Neely Spence for responding to all my questions and for her input on her ElliptiGO experience. Thank you to Jeff Caron for coming to a NOVA Running Club track work-out with his fleet of ElliptiGOs that took away any doubts.

3. What does a general week of riding look like for you and how does it fit into your overall workout routine?
I pretty much do steady rides similar to base training distance runs with a few hills here and there. After doing 20 miles EDIM (Every Day In May), I am looking to continue to increase my weekly mileage and lengthen my rides. Long term, I am hoping to get back to running a little bit and increase my average MPH on my ElliptiGO.

4. What was your favorite aspect of the ElliptiGO Spring Classic (… or ElliptiGO Events in general since you have participated in multiple)?
Hmm, tough question as the entire three day ElliptiGO Spring Classic week-end was fun and memorable. I would say all the people in the ElliptiGO family that I met during the week-end made it so much fun: John Childs, Dick Whiting (who, turns out, knows my niece), Jeanne Wilson, Sue Winston, Jim Hansen, Barbara Tomczak, Jane and Jeff LeGore to name a few of my new ElliptiGO friends. There were also many other enjoyable aspects of all the other races and events I’ve participated in like the Tour de Greenwich 20 miler, the ElliptiGO Winter Classic, the Pre-Boston Marathon Ride, EDIM, and the Bull City Running VIP ElliptiGO Ride in NC. As Matt Centrowitz once fittingly said to me, “You need the group more than the group needs you” and I am looking forward to the next ElliptiGO event as it feels great to be back racing again.

5. What’s next for you and what are some of your ElliptiGO-related goals for the next year?
I plan to explore lots of new and old places on my ElliptiGO starting with Myrtle Beach end of June and Annapolis early July followed by Harvard mid-July. Hope to get in good enough shape the next five weeks to be able to tackle at least the last two miles up Reddish Knob (4,397 feet) in the George Washington National Forest on my ElliptiGO at Blue Ridge Running Camp. And…continue to get fitter and lose more weight – about 22 pounds so far.

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Posted May 31, 2015 by Tennille in Customer Stories, Rider of the Month, updates
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