Challenge accepted

Perham local pledges to bike 500 miles, raise $1,000 for cancer research

Calaib Heiderich is going the distance to fight kids' cancer. All month long, Heiderich is biking in the Great Cycle Challenge USA in support of the Children's Cancer Research Fund.

The Great Cycle Challenge is made up of nearly 80,000 riders, who together have raised $4.6 million dollars and ridden over 1.3 million miles.

Heiderich thought he was starting low with his pledge goal of $1,000 and 500 miles.

"That is actually a daunting task, it really is," he said. "Once you get down to the actual miles, a mile in a car is a whole lot different than a mile on a bike."

Despite having an extraordinarily busy schedule, Heiderich is trying to push hard during the beginning of the month, to get miles out of the way, before it's really crunch time.

"From the time I wake up, to the time I basically fall over, I'm constantly moving," he said. "It's getting the miles in, from when I can jump out and do as many miles in the morning."

His routine usually starts with a morning ride around Arvig Park, and another ride in the middle of the night, after his shift at Swanson Machine ends at 1:30 a.m.

"Perham is not as big as you'd think it is," he said of his limited options to ride.

While he's not battling the trails themselves, Heiderich has to deal with a variety of elements.

"A lot of it is wind," he said. "For some reason it's 'great, good to go,' then I start doing the turn around coming back 'Oh no, there it is.'"

Then there are the bugs at night.

"I've eaten a few, quite a few actually," he said.

Nothing is worse than going by the cemetery in the dark though.

"It's creepy," he said.

An extra bright headlight and headphones are there to make sure he doesn't get too scared.

Despite the drawbacks, Heiderich loves riding at night for the solitude and cooler temps.

"You're focused on one thing and one thing only. More or less the only thing you really gotta worry about is getting hit by the sprinklers by the baseball field," he said. "Those will scare you. Bam, you get hit by water."

While riding at night helps him push through miles, morning rides give him an appreciation of his surroundings.

"You lose perspective of the overall when you're driving a car. You're not really seeing everything. At a slower pace on a bike you look out and just see the basic thing," he said. "A cornfield starting to grow and everything is green and happy looking." 

For full article, go to: Perham Focus

Source, image(s), credits & more: Perham Focus | Carter Jones