Avid cyclist and L’Orignal resident Jean-Pierre Laframboise wrote the following guest column to thank those who have supported his efforts over the past 14 years.

By Jean-Pierre Laframboise

After 14 seasons and at the age of 66, I achieved a personal best, biking 13,475 km from March 9 , 2021 to November 11 , 2021, bringing my total to 143,475 km which is the equivalent to three and a half times around planet Earth since I started in 2008.

I would like to thank François and Martin and all the other technicians at Top Chrono/Intersport/Sports Expert throughout the years for all the expertise, advice and maintenance that made it possible for me to ride safely.

In 2008, when I retired, I wanted an activity to go along with writing family books. I used to be an avid jogger, but just like Forrest Gump, I suddenly stopped running for no particular reason. I did not keep track of distances, but I would say it was a lot.

So bicycling was a nice alternative, as I started biking 5,000 km the first year and then 6,000 and then 10,000 km and so on. The first 40,000 Km was on a Specialized Crossroads and then I switched to a Specialized Sirrus road bike with a carbon frame. It made quite a difference in the ride.

At first I had no bike gear – just me on my bike. I remember it was my neighbour who bought me a helmet, so I guess he liked me enough to be concerned with my safety. Then I started wearing high visibility clothing, high intensity front and multiple rear lights,
horn, rear-view mirror and, of course, a high impact helmet.

My wife, who is a craft artist, has been designing frames for each year since I started and they are all on display on my walls of my study room.

Just like a lone wolf, I always bike solo to relax, admire nature and wave at people I come across through my 75-kilometre rides.

I have had many positive comments because motorists can see me from quite a distance. Maybe this is part of the reason why I have been fortunate enough not to have any mishaps through all these years.

One of the things I am most proud of beside all of these rides, is that my body is clean free, that is no chemical has been used to enhance performances. Lots of fruits vitamin C and vitamin D as well as honey, dairy products and nuts helps me for endurance.

Prescott-Russell roads are well maintained and have wide shoulders for pedestrians and cyclists.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all motorists on behalf of all cyclists to keep a minimum distance of one and a half metres and for slowing down when passing a cyclist. If you see me extending my arm at you, it is because I see you in my rear view mirror and it is my way of thanking you for respecting cyclists that share the road with you. Some days I feel like Forrest Gump…. on wheels.

Like someone said: Not going for a bike ride won’t kill me…. but hey, why take the chance.