New York cyclist, 67, takes love of animals on the roadLampart swings through city in midst of 12,000-mile ride
Belfast — Floyd Lampart is quite used to seeing the world around him from the seat of his bicycle, but this week he embarked on what will be his longest bike tour yet — all for a cause that is close to his heart.
Lampart, 67, stopped in at the Big Apple in Route 1 in Belfast Monday, April 8, on his way to the easternmost point of the United States in Lubec. From there, the Saranac Lake, N.Y., resident will swing back through coastal Maine and head south along the east coast on a 12,000-mile journey that will lead him around the perimeter of the United States.
He left his home at 7 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, April 4, and he expects to complete his ride in mid-September.
The trip, he said, is to raise money for a pair of causes — to make improvements to his local humane society and help fund an in-house laboratory for the new veterinary clinic at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.
The humane society, said Lampart, has provided he an his wife Martha with plenty of canine companionship and for that the couple has been grateful.
"We've adopted five dogs from Best Friends over the years," said Lampart.
On his bicycle, Lampart attached photographs of the dogs he and Martha have had in their lives over the years. Most recently, Lampart said, he and Martha said goodbye to a pair of cocker spaniels named Chester and Marley. The pair passed away last year, said Lampart, but both enjoyed fairly lengthy retirements with the Lamparts. Chester, who was blind when the couple adopted him, was not expected to live very long, but, Lampart said, he and Marley provided his family with five years of entertainment, companionship and love.
So the photos of all the dogs he and Martha have loved over the years are a big part of what keeps him going on his journey, he said.
"I look down and see these guys and it gives me the extra motivation to keep going," he said.
Lampart said he has been planning this particular bike trip since 2006, and he had a good idea of what he was in for because he previously took two bike trips that totaled 7,000 miles — one in 1994 and another in 1999. He said he's been a bicycling enthusiast much of his life, but got more serious about the activity about 20 years ago, when he set out to improve his health.
These days, Lampart said his neighbors are more likely to see him on a bicycle than in the drivers' seat of his vehicle.
"My truck sits in the driveway most of the time," said Lampart.
And winter weather is not enough to deter this diehard cyclist. He has five different bikes, one of which has four-inch wide tires that allow him to ride on a local rail bed during the cold season.
On this trip, Lampart said he strives to get in about 75 miles per day so he can average about 2,000 miles per month, although when Lampart gets further south he expects to get in a few 100-mile days so he will be in good shape to cover the more hilly terrain out west.
While the ride is the most challenging one he's taken to-date, Lampart said knowing the ride will mean a better life for more animals is what keeps him going.
"Seventy-five percent of the ride is mental and you have to just stay focused," he said. "The physical part becomes routine after a while."