By Anastasia Millicker
RB woman cycling from Key West to Bar Harbor, Me.
RED BANK – Ann Tardy is fulfilling a lifelong dream for the second time.
Tardy, founder and president of LifeMoxie Mentoring, started her 2,900-mile bike ride along the East Coast Friday in her second “MoxieRide” to promote her LifeMoxie Mentoring program, which creates literature and software for business owners on how to mentor their employees.
A Red Bank resident, Tardy launched LifeMoxie seven years ago but it was not until last year that she decided to pedal across the United State on a cross-country cycling trip, achieving a dream that started in law school but was delayed by her daily work routine.
Last year during her California to New Jersey ride, Tardy, a former Silicon Valley attorney, and her law school friend Jeff Furnia cycled 7,500 miles. During the trip they stopped in small towns to interview workers who enjoyed their jobs asking them why they loved what they were doing. A filmmaker accompanied the cyclists and documented the trip. The first ride was made into a documentary and is available at www. lifemoxie.com/moxieride.
Keeping with the MoxieRide’s initial format, Tardy plans to stop in small towns along the East Coast and ask employees what they like about their jobs.
This year Tardy is accompanied during her six-week research project by a small crew, including a videographer and publicist, during the trek from Key West, Fla. to Bar Harbor, Me. They are traveling in a RV with the LifeMoxie logo.
“Last year, I cycled from San Francisco to New Jersey… I was really disappointed the last time when it ended because I had so much fun doing it. So, I decided to create another one (Moxie Ride),” Tardy said.
Among the people Tardy came across last year were an Illinois pig farmer and his wife, an animal semen transporter, and a Nevada construction worker who handled traffic duty with a flag.
Tardy started her second LifeMoxie journey in Key West, Friday, May 25 – a day earlier that planned – and expects to complete the trip on July 4 in Bar Harbor.
“The weather was beautiful and they were all ready to go so we got a head start and started one day early,” said Christina MacCarrick, Moxie-Ride public relations officer.
In the days before the start of the long ride, Tardy said she was looking forward to interviewing people about their careers. She was hoping to talk to workers with different jobs than those she spoke to during her first journey. She said she would keep her eyes peeled for a police officer or a Starbucks employee who look like they enjoyed their jobs.
During this year’s ride, the MoxieRide team will post a YouTube video every day with interviews collected
and Tardy will blog daily. Updates from the ride can be found at www.facebook.com/ TheMoxieRide.
“We will stop at gas stations or walk around and look for people who act happy or those people who stand out in the crowd, interview them and post their stories on the blog,” she said.
In addition to her blog, Tardy plans to keep a count of the roadkill she comes upon. Last year, she counted 2,058 dead things along the road including armadillo and turtles. Although Tardy said the roadkill count is a bit morbid, blog readers enjoy it. “It puts things into perspective,” Tardy said. “It reminds me to be really safe on the road.”
Tardy plans to cycle 70 miles a day, as she did on her ride last year. Included among scheduled stops will be one in Outer Banks, N.C., the place Tardy is most excited to visit.
“From San Francisco to New Jersey it was pretty much a dry ride but weather may change things (in the schedule) a bit this year,” Tardy said. “I’m not afraid of rain. I’m afraid of torrential downpours… hurricanes and tornadoes.”
Tardy said neither rain, nor snow, nor wind has stopped her biking, including her winter season training. During her morning rides, Tardy said she rides 25 miles during the week while on weekends she rides 50 miles but not alone. Tardy said Cliff Wittenberg of Bike Haven in Fair Haven has helped introduce her to bike enthusiasts in the area who she cycles with every day.
“Bike enthusiasts cycle from Red Bank to Pier Village (in Long Branch) in the pitch dark in the morning and we cycle all winter and… on weekends we go down to Belmar,” Tardy said. “They are a great group of people.”
Tardy said supporters and friends plan to accompany her on her East Coast trip. She expects some New Jersey cycling friends will join her when she and Furni reach Pennsylvania in late June.