Friday, November 17, 2006

Neil Eerdmans, Racer

Neil Eerdmans

Born: Cambridge, MN
Grew up in: Cambridge, MN
Home: Champlin, MN
Address: 5601 111th Ave. N., Champlin, MN 55316

Age: 38

What got you started in athletic endurance events, and what attracts you to RAAM?
I have always had extra energy and so burning that off has always been necessary. I have developed a love of riding bike and RAAM is simply fascinating to anyone that likes riding distance. I have always wondered what it would be like to be a part of RAAM and now I actually have a chance to experience it.

Family status: Married for 15 years. Two kids, both love life like their parents, Rose is 7 and Owen is 5.

Education: BA and Masters of Education at the University of Minnesota.

Occupation: Second Grade Teacher

Why are you interested in raising funds and awareness for Camp Odayin?
Honestly, I just learned of the camp but it seems like a great place with great things happening there. I believe in helping and being ready to help. The camp is exciting and anything that I could do to help raise awareness of the camp would be great. Spiritually speaking this seems like a great camp to put energy behind.

Other sports of interest:
I have also fallen in love with cross-country skiing. If you live in Minnesota you better find a love or hobby that involves the winter.

Best Performance: I like the Headwaters 100. It is a great season ending event to test your fitness and push yourself. We rode it one year in 3:58. My goal used to be 5 hours at that event, breaking 4 was a great feeling.

Outline your typical weekly training: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I like to go as long as I can and I love riding with our group. We move along but not without laughs and conversation.

Dream Goal: Get my son and daughter to ride bike with me.

Biggest Obstacle: The freedom of choice.

Favorite fuel source for events: Fun Size Snickers

Most valued person in your life: My family, they are my best friends and there is no one that I would rather be with.

Your #1 hero: Jesus, it is not what you think. It is very different than American Jesus, I am into the guy that said love everyone, feed everyone and forgive everyone. Very different. Very radical. Christ wasn’t about comfort and neither is RAAM. Oh yea, and Dick Hoyt. Go to google video and search him and his kid up... Unbelievable!

Favorite Quote or words to live by: Hurry is not of the devil, it is the devil. - Jung
Don’t buy up grades, ride up grades.

What would you like to say to a group of like-minded endurance cycling athletes and / or a news reporter: Life is more than you think. Some cyclists and endurance athletes that have pushed themselves get this. People pride themselves in being “out of the box.” There is a whole other level, it is like “out of the circle.” We catch glimpses of this. I don’t even know for sure what it is and it is beautiful and scary at the same time. Even the people that have pushed themselves have to be open to this idea. I know what your thinking and I agree, it is weird. RAAM seems like the perfect vehicle to get out of the circle, to experience the next level for maybe more than a glimpse. We will see.

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