October 2014 Rider of the Month, John Pilkington
John Pilkington has been an ElliptiGO customer since our earliest days due to the degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis that forced him to stop running and lose fitness. Over the past several years, he has ridden himself back to health, lost 50 pounds, and in October he rode 620 miles from San Francisco to San Diego in 7 days to celebrate his 59th birthday, all while raising $7,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Congratulations on all you have achieved, John! We wish you the best of luck in all your future adventures.
Q & A with John
1. How long have you been riding your ElliptiGO and what model do you ride?
I have been riding since February 2010. I bought a Black 8S and ended up selling that one to a friend and 2011 World Champs finisher. I also purchased a silver 8S which is my climbing GO, and in Nov 2011 I bought an 11R and mainly use that for my long rides, so I now own 2 GOs.
2. What inspired you to purchase your ElliptiGO?
In January 2010, the doctor that performed my second lower back epidural informed me that running was not right for me as a fitness alternative. So I needed to find something else. I saw something online about ElliptiGO, researched it and posted the deposit. The next day I signed up for a test ride and the next day I got a call from Erin informing me that they had a GO for me. Turns out I got one of the first GOs off the first shipment of production GOs in February 2010.
3. What are your favorite events you’ve done on the ElliptiGO?
There are so many, but 620 miles in 7 days from SF to SD is hard to beat, especially raising over $7,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation from so many GO riders. And it would not have happened if Steve Burton had not encouraged me to do an epic ride and was willing to do it with me. Thank God we share the same birthday, albeit in different years, and many thanks to Anita and Sarah for agreeing to be SAG/Crew for the Epic Event.
I also love pacing events like the Carlsbad 5000, Junior Carlsbad, and the Rock and Roll marathons, partly because I get to ride along with my running friends, but mostly because I ride alongside my running wife and daughters.
Joining the Century Club at number 19 (alongside number 18, Robert G.,) and having been invited to or qualifying for all the ElliptiGO World Championships and finishing 3 of them. That’s pretty good, too.
4. What’s your most memorable experience related to the ElliptiGO?
Again, so many of them, but a few would be convincing Jorge to do the 2012 WC for his mom, and working with 7 athletes in 2012 to become Century Club members, including finding the right event and coordinating their training rides. But there are so many more!
5. What are your ElliptiGO-related goals for the next year?
During my running days I was a middle distance runner. This year I want to focus on improving my speed and strength, especially my climbing speed, and continue to do my favorite stuff – pacing runners! There is some chatter about doing the California Death Ride but we will have to see. But no, there will be no PBP!