A Love Story on a Bicycle
Richard and Nancy Friedman met on a warm summer day late in the afternoon in 1983. Richard remembers, “I was driving down the street and all of a sudden here comes this stunning woman on a bicycle. I nearly ran into a phone pole.” A year later they got married and started a family.
Together, they’ve both done a lot of boating, both recreationally and professionally. For the last 25 years, they’ve worked a chart cruise business taking small groups on week-long trips around southeastern Alaska on a motor yacht. Richard is the captain and Nancy - who calls cooking her compulsion and her love language - is the chef.
While they loved their jobs, working 16-hour days, seven days a week on the board during the busy season didn’t leave Richard and Nancy a lot of time to be active.
An Onboard Wake-Up Call
In August of 2017, Richard, Nancy, and the yacht full of guests were anchored for the night when Richard had a hard attack. They were 80 miles from the nearest town, but thanks to amazing good fortune, one of their guests was a Mayo Clinic cardiologist.
Statistically only 6% of people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive, but the cardiologist was able to keep Richard alive until they could get him off the board and airlifted to a hospital in Anchorage. There, doctors were able to put a few stents in his coronary arteries, saving his life.
E-bikes Give Richard a New Lease on Life
While he was recovering in the hospital, Richard’s doctors impressed on him that it was crucial he become more active and find an activity that would get him moving more regularly. They recommended that he get in a 45-minute session of good cardio at least three days a week. Richard thought that e-bikes would be a fun way to ramp up his cardio activity gradually.
Now, about five years later, e-bikes have become Richard’s primary transportation - and his health is better than ever! Richard estimates that he drove his car about 4,500 miles in the last year, but racked up more than 7,200 miles on his e-bike. He rode 320 out of the last 365 days.
When it came to choosing an e-bike, Richard knew that he wanted a brand he could trust. He says “I drive a German car - I’ve driven lots of German cars - and they have Bosch electrical systems, I have Bosch power tools, so it’s a company that I knew I could rely on.” Ultimately, Richard went with Riese & Muller. “I tend to gravitate toward the very best,” Richard said, “and that’s what I did with my e-bikes.”
He and Nancy have two Riese & Muller bikes, an Homage with a dual battery and fiber belt drive, and a Delite Mountain that Richard has modified for more road riding.
Finding Community Along the Way
Better health isn’t the only thing that e-bikes have brought into Richard and Nancy’s lives. They like an integrated life, a life where their enthusiasms, occupation, and activities all coincide. So they bring that kind of enthusiasm, interest in other people, and interest in sharing ideas and learning, to cycling. That enthusiasm has connected Richard and Nancy to a whole community also passionate about cycling and e-bikes. Richard is active on e-bike repair forms and has enjoyed encountering like-minded people all learning and sharing knowledge about bikes. Many of these online interactions have blossomed into real-life friendships.
Cycling together has also brought Richard and Nancy closer. Nancy says that although she and Richard worked together and raised a family together, for most of their marriage they had separate hobbies. Cycling is an activity that they both love and which they can do together. Nancy says, “I love that it's active, I would much rather see the world from a bike than be a passive participant.” We couldn’t agree more!