Carlton man fights hunger on his bikeSometime earlier this year – at the age of 59 – Carlton’s Timothy Soden-Groves realized he did, in fact, have a bucket list, certain items he wants to accomplish before he “kicks the bucket.” First on the list was a big bike ride.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Sometime earlier this year – at the age of 59 – Carlton’s Timothy Soden-Groves realized he did, in fact, have a bucket list, certain items he wants to accomplish before he “kicks the bucket.” First on the list was a big bike ride.
“Big” means different things to different people, even husband and wife. For Timothy, it meant biking all the way around Lake Superior, 1,050 miles in total.
For his wife, Diane Soden-Groves, Timothy’s idea of a big ride was just plain nuts.
“My idea of a big bike ride is 25 miles,” said Diane. “But I said I’d be support for him. It all mushroomed from there.”
At the same time, the ride turned into something bigger.
“I felt a little self-centered about the ride; it was all about me,” Timothy said. “I thought, ‘Let’s widen this out so something good comes out of it.’”
Now Timothy is riding to make people aware of hunger in the region and specifically to raise money for Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, a Duluth-based nonprofit that rescues food from national and regional sources and distributes it to over 120 charitable food programs throughout eight counties in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.
He’s calling the ride “Velo the Lake 2012 – Ride Against Hunger” and the bicyclist – who honors Velo Duluth bike club in the name – is using his adventure to bring attention to the behind-the-scenes operations of Second Harvest. Wednesday morning he appeared on a local television morning show, last week a press release went out to area media outlets.
“It’s my way of trying to bring a just bit of actual value to what might be otherwise thought of as only another item on one man’s ‘Bucket List,’” Timothy wrote on his blog at velothelake.blogspot.com. “If you like the idea, and are in a position to donate something to one of the really great non-profits in our region, then please consider a financial gift to Second Harvest. Now, THAT would be something truly worthwhile.”
He marveled over how far Second Harvest can stretch its dollars, explaining that because the food is rescued rather than purchased, Second Harvest is able to provide a meal for just 20 cents.
“Think about it, if someone donates $100, that’s 500 meals,” he said.
On Thursday afternoon, Timothy will begin the longest bike ride of his life at the “nose of the wolf,” where the westernmost tip of Lake Superior touches the Lakewalk in Duluth’s Canal Park area. He is aiming to ride approximately 100 miles a day in a clockwise route around Lake Superior, ending at the same spot. Diane will drive their Toyota Sienna van carrying the other bike – Timothy is bringing a 2012 Cannondale racing bike and his old favorite, a 1980 Trek 515 set up for hilly terrain and bad weather – and pull a camper, a new experience for her.
“I’ll have two hours of driving and 10 hours of hanging out, just the dog and me,” Diane said, laughing and noting that she will bring her Nook electronic book reader along on the trip.
Timothy is quick to praise his wife for her support.
“This whole thing would not have been possible without Diane’s support,” he said. “She’s a gamer.”
Despite some admitted “kvetching,” Diane is excited about their adventure, even though they just recently discovered that all the public campgrounds on the Canadian side of the lake close Sept. 16 so they will be finding campgrounds as they go.
“We have reservations for the first four nights,” she said. “We’re hoping the private campgrounds will know what lies ahead [and suggest where they should stop the next night].
“It’s just another adventure in the lives of two old people.”