It’s Wednesday morning at 5:30, while most people are asleep or just getting their day started, football, wrestling and track coach, Chip Ufford has already gotten breakfast and started his 21-mile ride to school. Starting at the beginning of the school year, Ufford has taken to riding his bike to school from his Olathe home at least once a week.
“It’s a way for me to get my exercise in in the morning, so I don’t have to do it after school because I can’t with football practice,” Ufford said.
Over the summer, Ufford would try to ride his bike two or three times a week. He would try and do around 20 miles for a short ride, and anywhere from 40-50 miles on one of his longer rides. After injuring his knee running, biking was a good way for him to still be able to get exercise.
Ufford got the idea from a couple of friends who live by East and would bike to work at Garmin in Olathe. He talked to them about what route they took, and thought it sounded like something he could try. To make it to East on time, he awakes promptly at 5:15. After that, he’ll try to eat something small, usually a PowerBar, and he will be out the door by 5:30. The ride takes him around an hour depending on the stoplights.
“When I wake up, I get dressed, grab a quick bite and I’m out the door as soon as possible,” Ufford said.
With the weather getting colder, Ufford is unsure if he will continue to ride through the winter. So far the coldest it’s been on one of his rides is 45 degrees, and he is unsure if he will ride on any mornings colder than that. If it’s above 45 though, Ufford says he will be riding. Even though he may not be biking as often that doesn’t mean he won’t be exercising. He plans to be swimming and lifting frequently during the winter months.
Right now, Ufford says that the exercise he does is just to stay in shape. However, when the weather gets warmer he plans to start training for an event called the Aquabike. Normally, Ufford would compete in a triathlon, but with an injury to his knee, he says he would not be able to complete the running portion. In an Aquabike competition you swim 2.4 miles and bike 112 miles, which is a Half Ironman minus the running. He plans to begin his training after wrestling season.
“You gotta practice what you preach,” Ufford said. “I preach exercising and being healthy, so I like to do the same thing.”