I grew up during WW2 and lived in post war communist East Germany.
In 1955 at the age of 15, I made my first long bike trip, riding across Germany for six weeks on an old bike without gears, as a new one was out of my financial reach.
After completing an apprenticeship as a machine tool mechanic and working as a journeyman, I joined the East German Merchant Marine. This would be my only opportunity to see more of the world, which led me to jump ship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1960.
It was there I started my career in the automotive industry, working at VW and continuing at Ford Motor Company after immigrating to Canada in 1967. Later, I accepted some senior management positions with the Canadian auto parts giant Magna International. I worked there for 20 years and retired in 2000.
I am married, have 3 children and 7 wonderful grand daughters.
I have always had a great love for the out doors with camping, skiing, canoeing and hiking all being a part of my life.
Soon after I retired, my wife introduced me to yoga. I think I was ready for the challenge as it led to meditation practice, vegetarianism and eventually to a raw food diet.
My love for cycling lay dormant except for some minor recreational riding until it was awakened when I met Bird Napper. during my Sea kayaking adventure on Ellesmere Island, in the Canadian Arctic, in 1997. Bird, was 74 years old. He recounted to me his ride across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax when he was only 70 ! That really inspired me and I have thought about it ever since.
I will be 70 in September this year and the time is ripe for me to meet this challenge.