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The Journal Gazette

  • Photo courtesy of Denise Snyder Denise Snyder rides with her husband, Jim, for most of her miles. Snyder finished third in the women's standings for the state of Indiana.  Daughter Abi Snyder on the right. 

  • Steve Pequignot finished eighth in the nation in the National Bike Challenge that ran from May through September. He finished atop the standings in Indiana.

  • Kathy Boling of the Three Rivers Velosport finished atop the standings for women in Indiana in the National Bike Challenge. The local club finished fourth nationally as a club.

Sunday, November 26, 2017 1:00 am

Bicyclists boost each other

Local riders near top in national challenge points

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

Pursuing a passion is one thing. Having the accountability of others just makes it better.

For Three Rivers Velosport, competing against other cyclists and clubs around the state and country allows both.

The club finished with 460,445 points in the National Cycling Challenge. Participants earned a bonus 20 points per day for one mile and one point for every mile ridden between May 1 and Sept. 30.

 “I'm just thankful that all the people did sign up for the challenge,” Kathy Boling said. “I know many have made extra efforts to ride. I could see there were a lot of new riders that were out there on a day that it wasn't very nice out, but they went in and got some miles on. That, to me, was really cool. Sometimes they did more miles than I did.”

Steve Pequignot finished as the top male in the state of Indiana with 13,605 points while Boling finished as the top female in the state with 7,780 points.

“I was pleased with my amount of miles,” she said. “When I found out in July that I was the No. 1 lady in the state, I started watching the state and I couldn't believe I was No. 1.

“I wanted to get in 5,000 miles in that time. I met that goal and I was happy with my monthly totals.”

Pequignot also finished eighth nationally, his highest finish in the three years he has participated.

“I told my wife that I wasn't going to get too involved in it this year. I was good for the first two months,” he said. “I knew in past years I wanted to be more active and the first six weeks are the most difficult for me, building up and retraining your daily regiment to incorporate a higher distance. I already got past that hurdle and I was feeling pretty good.

“In July, we went on vacation, so I fell a little farther behind and when I got back, I was refreshed from not riding much so that's when it kicked in, for me. It's been that way for the past three years. When I get to July, the more I ride, the easier it gets so it just worked out that I was in fourth place and every month, I would pass people ahead of me.”

Denise Snyder and her husband, Jim, ride a tandem and the accountability of each other and the team made it easier to get out on the bike.

“Being as a part of the challenge, it inspires us to ride more than we would otherwise,” Denise Snyder said. “Like if the weather is bad or we're not motivated, we can encourage each other because it gives you points. We'd decide to go do this for the team and see if we can help the team get to a higher goal. That's what we've done.”

Snyder finished third among women in Indiana.

Three Rivers Velosport's performance ranked fourth in the country behind Shawnee Trail Cycling Club of Texas (832,615), Washington (D.C.) Area All-Stars (656,251) and Plano Bicycle Association of Texas (522,050).

Individually, the club had the male and female leaders and additional top-10 performances.

Susan Zuber finished second female in Indiana with 6,955 points, Jennifer Altherr finished seventh with 4,924 and members John Rodino was fifth (9,658), SJ Kenny sixth (9,188) and Shane Powell 10th (7,942) for the men in the state.

The 3RVS club makes it easy for cyclists to succeed in the challenge while also lifting Fort Wayne, as a city, to 12th in the challenge.

“For the first 31/2 months, Fort Wayne was ahead of Indianapolis and Chicago. We were in the top 10 until the last three weeks,” Pequignot said. “What I found about the challenge is that it promotes people to go out and ride. What's the difference between if I go out, ride 50 miles or 100 miles? The simple thing about having someone else tracking what you're doing, it pushes you to go out and do something.”

areichel@jg.net