By Janee Law
For 69 days, Kevin Record lived a simple life, his only daily concerns being having enough food and water, what kind of weather he would face, and where he would rest his weary body at the end of each day during his 3,865-mile bike ride to across the country.
“I ended up in San Francisco which is where my oldest son Kyle lives and works as an investment banker,” Record, a 1978 Huntington High School graduate, said. “That was kind of my mantra all the way across the country. When people asked me where I was going, I said ‘I’m going to see my son.’”
But Record was doing more than that. Over the course of his journey, averaging 60-70 miles a day on the TransAmerica bike trail, Record raised funds for the American Cancer Society.
Record was riding in honor of people who had succumb to cancer or fighting cancer, including his mother and Huntington resident Jane Record, who is a cancer survivor; friends Mason Snider, Mark Feely, and Allen Long, who are also cancer survivors; and Marshal Fisher, 15, who lost a leg to cancer and continues to fight the battle.
“It was such a cool thing to do and to honor these people that have gone through this,” Record said. “It was hard, it was exhausting but I never wanted to stop and I always thought what I’m doing pales in comparison to what they’ve gone through. I was just going through a big long bike ride.”
Through his website, Record would blog every day and at the end of each entry link to his fundraising page on the American Cancer Society’s website, titled “Ride Across America To Beat Cancer.”
As of deadline Monday, Record has exceeded his initial goal at $5,000 and raised more than $14,000 in funds.
Starting from Yorktown, Virginia, on May 27, Record averaged around six to eight hours a day and traveled through Kentucky, southern Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Nevada before landing in San Francisco on Aug. 3.
When he left his home in Tallassee, Florida, Record carried two cycling shirts, two pairs of shorts, a camelback, and, for when he was done with riding, tennis shorts, flip-flops and a “Team Marshal” t-shirt that he wore every day.
However, Record faced many challenges along the way, like two flat tires, a broken spoke, and a broken rear derailleur cable. Record said his most challenging ride was 13 hours long when fighting against headwinds in Pueblo, Colorado.
“That was the toughest day,” he said. “I was into a headwind, pulling up over 11,000 feet and that took me forever to clear. The wind was so strong in my face that going down hill, if I wasn’t peddling, I would not move.
“But you just kept on grinding,” he continued. “Thinking about those people I was honoring each day was what really carried me forward, through the heat, the wind and the mountains.”
When Record finally hit Crissy Field Beach in San Francisco, he was greeted by his sons Kyle and Josh. He added that seeing his two boys walk towards him was a “pretty cool moment.”
“I’m just really proud of him for doing it for a great cause,” Kyle, 27, said. “I would’ve been pumped to see him regardless of how he got here but the fact that he biked across the country was truly remarkable.”
Like his parents, who were both educators in the Huntington School District, Record is also in education, teaching journalism and working as a tennis coach at Leon High School.
After playing college tennis at Lynchburg College in Virginia, Record spent 25 years in journalism as a sports writer. He moved to Tallassee in 1995 and covered Florida State University sports teams. With a passion to teach tennis, Record began coaching the Leon High School tennis team in 2003 and then was offered a job teaching journalism in 2004.
“Besides from having my two wonderful children, I really think [the ride] was the best thing I’ve ever done with my life,” he said. “I don’t know how I did it but, we are capable of more than we think we are.”
For more information and to donate, visit crazycoachonabike.com.