NORWALK, Conn. (AP) - While winter isn’t exactly the most appealing time of the year for a bike ride, Norwalker Rob Dabb is bundling up and braving the brisk conditions for a good cause.
“If it’s 15 degrees or above I’ll go out for a ride,” Dabb said as he adjusted his helmet. “The riding part hasn’t been tough, but the cold makes it miserable. I almost fell once because it’s so slippery out.”
Dabb, 29, is currently training for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City on May 3 to support the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
His goal, aside from finishing the ride in one piece, is to combat childhood obesity.
“As a kid, all I wanted to do was play outside and I just don’t see that happening anymore,” Dabb said. “Now that I have a 19-month-old son, I would like to see him get excited to play outside as well, so I decided to join the Alliance for a Healthier Generation as a Healthy Hero Ambassador to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits.”
The Michigan native discovered the organization by chance when he was searching for family friendly bike rides on the Internet in an attempt to motivate a coworker who was trying to lose weight.
“When he (coworker) found out it was a 40-mile bike ride, he was pretty timid about it, so I ended up getting my boss involved instead,” Dabb said. “It’s tough to ride in the winter, but accountability is the best motivator.”
Dabb plans to embark on the 40-mile ride on his $45 Magna single-speed bike, which he purchased on clearance at Target. To better equip the bike for the winter, Dabb bought new handlebars and a headset, but admits he is trying to keep his costs extremely low.
“I wear a head sock under my helmet and put on double layers of clothes, but my toes get so cold that I’ve only been able to ride about 11 miles before I can’t handle it,” Dabb said. “Once it gets warmer, I’ll be able to ride a longer length.”
As Dabb prepares for his journey, his wife, Lauren is training for a half marathon in New York City this spring. The couple’s goal, Dabb said, is to stick toward their commitment of a healthier lifestyle to set a good example for their son.
“She (Lauren) just turned 30 and I turn 30 in April, so we’re trying to start the decade off right,” Dabb said. “I’m doing this (ride) to set a good example for my toddler son and my local community to show that it’s easy to go outside and exercise and that it doesn’t require much.”
On Wednesday, Dabb surpassed his fundraising goal of $750 and has since decided to shoot for $1,500.
“I started fundraising on Feb. 8 and raised the money pretty quickly, so now I’d like to double the amount,” Dabb said. “I’ve never raised money for a charity like this before and I have to say, it’s been pretty motivational.”
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