"I rarely go out without seeing at least a couple of deer along the way," says Kevin Funke, of his experiences riding the Heritage Bike Trail in Dubuque, Iowa.
The rides are a good change of pace from his work as an engineering manager in the product verification and validation department for the John Deere Construction and Forestry Division. The 26-mile trail runs on an abandoned railroad way from Dubuque to Dyersville, alongside wooded valleys and winding streams. As the wheels roll, he leaves work and life stress behind. "It's a cleansing experience to go out and think about things other than work and other kinds of life stress," says Kevin.
His new way of life started two years ago with a chance decision to go on a diet with his wife. From just a half hour or so three times a week, he now exercises more than an hour five or six days per week. "I never would have imagined I'd spend this much time exercising, but it's just progressively built," notes Kevin.
Besides biking, his routine includes a mix of resistance training with free weights and cardiovascular exercise. Combined with healthy eating habits, he has cut 75 pounds off his 6-foot-1 frame, a weight loss he's successfully maintained for a year. One secret is finding the right time of day to work out. For him, that's before work at the plant's onsite fitness center.
Kevin has now found himself on a whole new road. "I can't imagine going back. I'm doing things at age 43 that two years ago I couldn't imagine I'd be able to do anymore."