SARANAC LAKE — Floyd Lampart is on a bike ride that will take him 12,000 miles.
“The first two weeks are the worst part of the ride because of the weather we’re having,” the Saranac Lake man, who’s 67, said from Gorham, N.H., three days into the effort.
Brutal spring winds and low temperatures “sucked the life right out” of him, he said of those first few days, but as more time passes, he thinks it will become easier.
“You get your training on the first couple weeks of the ride,” he said. “After that, it becomes like going to work in the morning.”
Lampart aims to reach the four post offices at the farthest points in the contiguous United States; he expects to finish around mid September. From Lubec, Maine, he heads to Key West, Fla., then westward.
This long ride isn’t just for fun, though. He has a strong passion for biking but wanted to combine that with another passion of his: animals.
His Pedal for Paws ride is raising money for the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in Saranac Lake, to install an emergency sprinkler system for further safety of the staff and the animals sheltered there.
And the effort will bring in funds for Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, where they are planning to construct a new state-of-the-art clinic.
Lampart’s wife, Martha, said it will include laboratories, isolated rooms and other significant equipment.
The total fundraising goal is $20,000.
Best Friends has assigned a college student to work on publicity for Mr. Lampart’s ride. Mrs. Lampart said she receives about five to six calls a day regarding those matters.
Two Facebook pages, one for Tri-Lakes Humane Society and the other for Best Friends, follow her husband’s progress, and a social-media representative in New York City helps her keep up with them.
He calls her three to four calls daily from the road.
She said he tells her “there’s not much to do but think,” while riding, so she always is there for his support.
Mr. Lampart is no novice to long-distance cycling. In 1994, he rode from Plum Island, N.Y., to Oregon, and he covered about 4,200 miles to reach Alaska in 1999.
Riding keeps him on a routine, with a set diet and healthy lifestyle.
And it’s these factors that got him into cycling about 20 years ago, when weight and high cholesterol were becoming issues.
“I started to ride more and more, and now it’s become my primary vehicle.”
Mrs. Lampart bikes, as well, but she said she’s not a fanatic like her husband.
When he brought up the idea of his most recent ride, she said, “I thought he was crazy.”
Because it was something he had wanted to do for so long, she said she couldn’t deprive him of it, she said, but rather support him.
“All I do is peddle,” Mr. Lampart said, and his wife takes care of the rest.
“She can read me pretty well and has always been loving and supportive in what I want to do,” he said via cellphone.
“She’s my anchor back at home.”
Mrs. Lampart said bought her a quilting machine before he left to help occupy her at home. Plus, she takes care of their three dogs and two cats.
It’s a vacation for them both, she said, because he gets to be out doing what he loves, and she has the house to herself.
But she wants to meet up with him in Los Angeles or San Diego, which would be about half way through the trip.
“I would get a chance to look at him to make sure he still has two arms and two legs,” she joked.
She said her husband is usually a stay-at-home person, and she’s the one who likes to go out, but when it comes to his bike, it’s a different story.
And this ride, Mrs. Lampart said, is different from the rest. She said the funding going toward the animal shelters are his main motivators.
“When he gets his mind made up to do something, he is determined,” she said.
“He will finish.”
Follow Floyd Lampart on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TriLakesHumaneSociety.
Make a pledge to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society at http://tlhsny.webs.com, call Martha Lampart at 891-0319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.