Last year we got to meet Team Wlody at Bike Expo New York and immediately were taken by their charm and personalities. We featured Corinne and Jack Wlody in our Spring Issue, a couple who began riding bikes when they tried New York City’s Citi Bike for their first time in 2013 and shortly after cycled a combined total of 11,131 miles in 96 days as participants in PeopleForBike’s 2015 National Bike Challenge (NBC). They predicted that they would surpass their accomplishments in the 2016 NBC. We thought we’d check in to see how that went.
Here’s our Q+A with Corinne and Jack of Team Wlody.
MM: Why did you decide to take part in the 2016 National Bike Challenge ?
TW: We were so inspired by how well it went during the 2015 National Bike Challenge, we decided to see how much farther we could pedal! We had a mission to ride and try to inspire people of all ages. It’s our motto that “you can achieve anything at any age and under any circumstance. You only need to find your passion, set a goal, formulate a plan, and pursue it relentlessly!”
MM: How many miles did you actually ride?
TW: We committed to riding every day – for 153 consecutive days – no matter what! We cycled over 80 miles a day during the 5 months of NBC all while managing our business, regularly volunteering, cleaning up our community, and finishing up our children’s book. We racked up a combined total of 23,783.1 miles (the equivalent of the Earth’s circumference). This time, we placed 1st and 2nd out of thousands of cyclists in New York State. Nationally we finished 8th and 12th out of the tens of thousands of riders.
It wasn’t easy, we had to overcome a few personal obstacles, many flat tires, rain, extreme heat, etc. Sometimes it was difficult to factor in riding 80 miles a day and manage everything else in our lives, but one of the tools we used to get us through is what we refer to as “positive perspective”. When we felt the burden of this huge commitment, we thought about people who for whatever reason weren’t able to ride, (or do anything else that they’d like to try) and then you ask yourself- what am I complaining about? Its always important to focus on your goal, it needs to be like tunnel vision. This will remind you of how important what you’re trying to accomplish is.
MM: When we see that you have ridden 23,783.1 miles the first thing that comes to mind is how many countries did you visit. But you didn’t, your 23,783.1 miles were mostly all in New York. What’s that all about?
You mean boroughs don’t count? Joking! While we would have absolutely loved traveling around the world, exploring it’s beauty on our bikes, we had to stay local so we could continue to run our business! Much of our local bike paths are off of main highways, but we also have some really beautiful paths adjacent and/or leading to National Parks! There is nothing like exploring your own city/town on a bicycle! You will find things you never would have by traveling any other way- you can go much further than you can on foot, and see and experience things more clearly than if you were in a car.
We had a good mixture of riding for the love of cycling and riding for the purpose of completing a goal. Either way, we wanted to inspire others to take up cycling for any number of wonderful reasons! In the end everyone wins- our minds, our bodies and our environment!
MM: We hear you wrote a poem inspired from your journey. Can you share it with us.
TW: Yes I did. It’s called “ZEN on Two Wheels.”
I am an extension of my bicycle. My bicycle is an extension of me. I am free. On a still morning, I am a blade cutting through the air. I am flying. With headwinds there is resistance. I get stronger. When it’s hot and humid- I don’t sweat. I glow! Up the hills I am challenged. Over the top I am triumphant! On my bike I am ageless. On my bike I am FREE!
MM: How else are you involved in the bicycle community?
TW: Giving back is important to us. We like to find unique ways to help out, such as organizing local bike path clean-ups at our own expense and inviting friends to help. Among those who heeded the call were: Ken Podziba, president and CEO of Bike New York, NYS Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, Bevan Harris a Rep from Giant Bikes, and Timothy Farrell, a National Park Ranger, Louis F. Lotito, and Michael Wlody.
One of our passions is teaching people how to ride a bike with Bike New York as instructors/volunteers. It is nothing short of sheer joy to see the smiles on the faces of people as they discover that they’re actually riding a bike for the first time! The biggest thing that comes out of this is the confidence and empowerment it gives them.
During the NBC, we each earned The 2016 President’s Volunteer Service Award, for our hundreds of hours of volunteer work with another charitable organization, Seaside 4 Therapeutic Riding, where we regularly work with autistic children on horseback.
We also raised money for important causes, organized a second charity bike ride for a friend, Michael Goldberg, who valiantly battles Mitochondrial Disease, all while raising awareness and fundraising himself!
We have also been invited to be Giant Ambassadors and ride matching Giant Fast Road SLR performance hybrids. Our bikes are relatively light tanks- they are able to take whatever we can give them. Cycling over 80 miles a day on NY City bike paths is rough riding, and these bikes came through! Our bikes each have over 18,000 miles on them, in one year!
“One of the most overlooked things is learning how to shift properly, especially when climbing, and good bike maintenance before each ride.” Jack said
About Jack and Corinne:
Jack and Corinne are Lifestyle Transformation Experts, who’ve successfully guided countless people to reach their fitness/lifestyle goals for 22 years. They have a unique system and philosophy. “We start with One Great Habit, it has served us and our clients very well. The walls of our private NY studio are completely covered with framed transformations of our clientele- it serves as a gallery of inspiration to all who enter!” Corinne said
Their first children’s book “The Dog Who Saved Pleasantville, a tail of lifestyle choices for kids and their parents” will be on Amazon.com and in book stores soon, (target date is mid December) and half of the proceeds will be donated to Bike New York. The book was written by both Jack and Corinne, and the illustrations were also done by Corinne who is an artist.
The book is the first of it’s kind, it focuses on healthy food choices, (and what to avoid) the importance of exercise (like bike riding), environmental repercussions, and good moral lessons. All told with a character kids will love, (the couples beloved dog, Kato) meant to entertain, encourage and inform.
Get your FREE copy of our new guide: Momentum Mag's Urban Cycling Guide
In our latest free guide, we share a few tips and tricks for anyone new to urban cycling who is looking to get started. We discuss the latests numbers regarding safety and cycling as well as go over a few rules of the road that every cyclist should know.
Please select your country and provide a valid email address
Thank you for your submission. Your free guide has been sent to the email address you provided.