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Pedaling prowess

Bicycle riding has benefited retired science teacher from Lamberton

December 29, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

Ray Gorder of Lamberton says he's not a big TV watcher, he just likes to be outside.

Which is why one may find him riding his bicycle around town or on the county roads heading to Sanborn, racking up the miles.

"Seldom do I dread that I have to jump on the bike," Gorder said.

Gorder, a retired Red Rock Central High School science teacher, has logged 13,000 miles this year on his bicycle. For the last few years, he has biked 10,000 or more miles a year.

Usually the 71-year-old Gorder will start out with a bike ride in the morning.

"I probably ride three to four times a day when I ride," Gorder said.

Gorder said he weighed about 285 pounds when he started riding bike. He's now down to around 210.

"I ride to keep my weight down," Gorder said. Back when he was teaching, he didn't have much time to be active, he said. "I've been trying to lose weight for a long time."

"I'm probably as healthy as I've ever been," Gorder added.

Bicycling is easier than jogging for him, Gorder said, plus one can go a little faster.

"You see a lot more territory," Gorder said.

The first year he started actively biking, Gorder set out to ride 100 miles for every year of his age at the time, 67.

He wasn't sure that he'd eventually reach 10,000 miles in a year.

"The end of the year, I looked and saw 10,000," he said, referring to his bicycle's odometer.

For this year, Gorder decided to go for 12,000 miles. He surpassed that goal in early November.

He checks his odometer calibration frequently to ensure his mileage is correct.

"I make sure I'm quite accurate," he said.

Gorder bought a new bicycle in May and has already put 7,000 miles on it. He said that's he's even put more miles on his bicycle than his car in a year.

"I really don't know how many miles you can get out of a bicycle," he said.

During the warmer months, Gorder will bike from Lamberton to Sanborn, which is a relatively quiet trip, he said.

"I've ridden that where I've met one or two people (on the road)," Gorder said. He said he doesn't have the "bigger traffic" to deal with in Lamberton.

Gorder will ride most days during the year.

"It depends on the weather, and the wind is the hardest factor," Gorder said.

During a snowy winter, Gorder said he may not get out biking as often, as was the case a couple of winters ago.

"I could only ride bike one day in December," Gorder said.

From January through March, Gorder lives in Apache Junction, Ariz. Gorder said the biking is much more ideal in Apache Junction, and he may bike 50 to 60 miles a day.

"The weather conditions are pretty good," Gorder said, adding that there's little rainfall in Apache Junction.

Gorder said he and his wife go camping a lot, and he always brings his bicycle to try out the trails, including ones in the Shetek area and Park Rapids.

"That's the highlight of camping for me," he said.



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