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Riding with the Godfather
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 10:07

When I came to Danville in 2012, everyone I discussed bicycling with told me that I had to meet Sherman England. One person called him the “Godfather of Danville Cycling.” It took a while but I am glad that the Tour de Habitat has brought us together. It seems we also share the cause of creating affordable housing for Danville and Pittsylvania County. Rather than try to tell the story of why he rides, I asked Sherman to write a brief bio. I hope other riders will join him on October 11th for the Tour de Habitat. Here is his story:

My name is Sherman England and I am a cyclist. I have been riding for the past 28 years and I have no plans to stop riding. Bicycling as a sport has helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle, control my weight and remain active into what many would call old age. Bicycling has allowed me to experience nature in a way that many others may have missed.

The Blue Ridge Parkway from a bicycle saddle is entirely different than from the seat of an automobile. On the bike I am a part of nature. I’m hot or cold and if it’s raining, wet. It takes six days to ride from Waynesboro to Cherokee with a total of 50,000 feet of climb. For many people that sounds like a lot of work, it is, but it is well worth the effort. The freedom that is experienced on a trip like that is amazing. The sense of accomplishment that I feel having ridden to the top of a mountain pass at nearly 11,000 feet cannot be duplicated by any other activity. Cycling builds the body, calms the mind and frees the soul.

I enjoy helping develop new riders whenever I can. Helping a novice rider adjust to the bike or learn how to fix a flat tire is rewarding. Encouraging a rider to achieve a milestone event, to do a 50 or 100 mile ride is celebrated by all of us. Not everyone wants to do century rides, but when a goal is reached, it deserves celebration.

When an opportunity to combine a sport that I love with helping a needy family comes along, well it just has to be done. I have been associated with Habitat and the Tour de Habitat for all of the prior events. I will be riding the 60 mile course this year. Habitat for Humanity provides affordable homes for our community and the support I give is put to good use. If 60 miles sounds like too big a challenge, the shorter routes will still deliver a rewarding experience. Come and join us for the Tour de Habitat, you’ll enjoy it.


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