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Richard Ramones – October Rider of the Month

Perfecting the dream of running on air

Frustrated with yet another uninspiring workout in the stale air of the gym, Bryan Pate decided he’d had enough. A thin haze hung in the fresh coastal air outside, fingers of Southern California sun gently breaking through, promising another beautiful day. Glancing out the slightly fogged up gym window to the outdoor scene, he wiped off the cardio equipment with a terry towel and headed out. It was time for a change. He decided it was time to purchase an outdoor elliptical device and take back the streets again. Only to find it was an impossibility; no such machine existed. 

We can picture him, venting with friend and athlete Brent Teal one day in the early 2000s, sharing a drink and together perfecting the dream of a low-impact running motion designed for outside. 

Little did they know that they would team up to spend years tinkering, inventing, prototyping, and eventually launching the very first elliptical bicycle in 2010.

They had no idea, on that very first day of imagining running on air, that they were moments away from an epiphany that would later affect thousands of lives.

One of those lives is our featured rider here today – Meet Richard Ramones!

Background

I am a 2nd Generation US Military Service Member. I was born in Naval Air Station, Leemore, CA. My father was stationed there at the time, I am what you call a “Military Brat,” having been raised between two cultures simultaneously. I spent most of my upbringing (11 years) growing up at the US Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. Immediately after high school, I enlisted in the US Navy.

You would call me a “West Coast Sailor,” as my naval career has had me all over the Pacific. After serving in the Navy for 20 yrs, I retired in 2013. 

Now I reside in beautiful Southern California with my wife Alice and two kids (Jayden 7 & Isabelle 11). We live in San Diego, aka “America’s Finest City.” … Chula Vista to be more specific.

On staying active

As service members, we were always subjected to a Bi-Annual PRT (Physical Readiness Test) during my Active Duty years. It consists of two parts. In the 1st part, you had to be within Navy standards based on your height & weight measurements. The 2nd part, pending age, would determine the standards in the number of push-ups, sit-ups, and time in which you had to run 1.5 miles. 

Three consecutive failures on any part would result in being kicked out of the Navy. Twenty years of having to maintain Navy physical standards has carried over to post-military life now that I’m retired.

Finding his ride

One day over the weekend, I saw something I had never seen before on the local KUSI news. Brent Teal, Bryan Pate, and Bryce Whiting were demoing and showcasing the Long Stride at the time. It definitely sparked my interest.

A Google search led me to the ElliptiGO website. I was glad to find that the World Headquarters are local right here in San Diego, and that test rides were available for all GO bike models there. 

Richard’s models

My 1st ElliptiGO bike is a matte black Arc 8 who I named Black Beauty. Through her, I developed my conditioning to where it is today. I started from 3 – 5 leisure miles around my neighborhood to doing 20 miles a day every other day, four days a week. It was exactly one year the 2nd week of July this year when I invested in her.

While getting more serious with my GO’ing this summer, I got myself a 2nd GO bike, this time a matte black Long Stride 11R whom I’ve named ZEUS. I found the name ZEUS fitting because in Greek mythology, he is the Alpha of all of the Greek gods, and the Long Stride 11R is the flagship model of all the GO bikes. 

In my opinion, it is 2nd to none. It’s funny how naming our GO bikes is part of the GO’ing culture. 

Getting more accomplished in my cardio workout regiment, it has now become a full-blown “GO ADDICTION.” Having ZEUS in my ever-growing stable gives me the means to switch from one platform to another – a good luxury to have.

Life impact

Halfway through my 20 years of Active Duty Service, I sustained a back injury where I fractured my neck (C2 vertebrae) and crushed my lower back (L2 vertebrae). For my neck injury, I was fitted with and had to wear a HALO contraption for 3 ½ months. Fortunately, my neck fracture, otherwise known as a “Hang Man’s Fracture,” healed on its own during that time frame. 

My lower back, on the other hand, required me to have a Lumbar Laminectomy procedure, fusing my L1 – L3 with titanium hardware. Since then, I continue to experience chronic lower back pain. 

This injury alone could have easily ended my military career. But to make a long story short, I was able to retire and do 20 years, even passing the Navy’s bi-annual PRT and all.

Additionally, before retiring from the military, I was borderline diabetic with high cholesterol. In the months following, I eventually became a full-blown Type 2 diabetic.

I can honestly say 5 ½ years into post-military life (since retiring in 2013), I took on a “Happy Go Lucky” approach, brushing off any real consideration towards healthy life choices and practices.

Fast forward to today, after almost 1.5 years of ElliptiGO riding and without getting too technical with medical terms, I’ve managed to drastically turn my health issues around for the better with blood work readings all in the good! 

Looking towards the future

Within around 15 months of riding, I’ve managed to rack up just under 3,735 miles, and 171,000 feet elevation gained. Future goals include:

  • Continually improving and working towards a Century Ride.
  • To venture out of my comfort zone and GO ride at other venues, to include meeting with and riding with other fellow GO’ers.
  • Participate in future ElliptiGO meets, events, and gatherings.

As of recently, I can honestly call myself a GERC member. It’s official ladies & gentlemen! Last July I completed my first ElliptiGO affiliated event, Bike For Humanity 2 (as a virtual ride). I’m also proud to say that our team “The Stand Up & ElliptiGO’ers” took 1st place overall in this past September’s GERC Group Challenge.

If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve been a GO rider a whole lot sooner. And probably own stock too. I beat myself up for missing the opportunity to invest and own a small piece of ElliptiGO. 

ElliptiGO wishes you the best of luck as you continue riding Richard – Perfecting the dream of running on air!


Donner Pass Elinor YeeContributed by Elinor Yee – A rider considering herself lucky for each day on her ElliptiGO, drawing inspiration from fellow riders conquering obstacles big & small. 

Want to inspire Elinor? Contact ElliptiGO with nominations to Rider of the Month or share your own story. It may just be the next feature!

 

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Posted October 26, 2020 by Tennille in Rider of the Month, Uncategorized, updates
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