ON THE ROAD AGAIN
PADEN CITY – As he pedaled his bike through Paden City on an October afternoon, only nine miles left to go before hitting his 40 miles in one day goal, Guy Snider thought about quitting.
Snider had set out that morning to bike the 40 miles in celebration of his 80th birthday. With less than 10 miles to go, he knew he had to finish, lest the feeling of guilt set in.
“There are a lot of days I don’t feel like doing it,” Snider said of his 20-mile-a-day bike habit. “But I’ll be sitting around the house for a while and decided I need to just go do it.”
Snider finished the 40 mile journey – all within the boundaries of Paden City – in a little more than four hours, capping a week in which he also officially surpassed 40,000 miles of riding in a little more than 10 years. He began riding after having stint surgery, with eight stints being placed in his heart. At the demands of a physician, Snider began exercising more regularly, working out and walking three miles a day.
However, not long after he began working out, he had knee replacement surgery on his left knee, and then on his right knee within a matter of a few months. With limited options, Snider decided to begin riding his bike. He started out slow, riding five miles each day around Paden City.
As he built up endurance, Snider began riding greater lengths. Restricted by confines of Paden City, Snider began riding the same streets several times and making circles in church parking lots.
Over time, he came to ride 20 miles each day with relative ease, shooting the gaps between cars and flying down hills on his bike, a one-speed classic with no fancy gears or breaks, adorned in flames.
“A lot of people know me as that old guy who rides fast,” Snider said.
Snider rides every day, weather permitting. He has split the 40,000 miles over two bikes, and said he has had very little issue with repair on them.
“I’ve gone through a lot of tires, but nothing else really,” he said.
When inclement weather forces him inside, he still logs the miles on his stationary bike. And, while he does his best to remain safe while riding, he hasn’t been without incident over the years. Snider recalls three major incidents, one in which he received a black eye and skinned his arms. Another time, Snider had a run-in with a neighbor’s dog which required rotator cuff surgery, and another incident that required therapy and rehab for a broken rib. Still, he said the benefits far outweigh the risks.
“This has kept me from getting other ailments, like diabetes or blood pressure issues,” said Snider, who also works out at the Sistersville Fitness Center three days a week. “I do it to make sure I’m healthy enough to enjoy my life and remain independent until I can’t any longer.”