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His Ride Cycling Enthusiasts Discuss Their Rides, A Changing Bike Culture vBy Rob Nielsen Imagine if half of the population of Yankton took to their bikes. Not just for recreation or exercise — imagine if they did it as their main means to get to school, work, the store or elsewhere. What would this town and its people be like? It’d be the benchmark of a great bicycling culture — one that both Rich Andre and Matt Dvorak of Yankton imagine often. With more than a dozen bikes between the two of them, Dvorak and Andre recently sat down with His Voice to talk about their experiences biking and the culture they see changing around it. A Deep Interest Dvorak said his interest in biking goes back to his youth. “I grew up around the Sioux Falls area and went to school in Harrisburg,” Dvorak said. “I grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and back then, I remember going to my Grandma’s … She had an old one-speed bike. My cousins from Parker and I would stand on this big wooden box and we’d try to get on the bike, kind of like you’d get on a horse. We’d get on the bike and peddle as fast as we could and go as long as you can.” He added that it was also an effective means of transportation. “Growing up out in the country, that was just your way of getting to your friends’ house,” he said. “You’d ride several miles to go and see your friends, hang out and then ride home. That was your freedom — your bike.” Andre said one of the factors that led to his deep interest in cycling was the experience of commuting prior to his move to Yankton in 2007. “I worked at an insurance company in Minneapolis,” Andre said. 12vHISVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2018 “I commuted into Minneapolis. It was an hour commute into town and an hour commute back home. That’s two hours in a car. You can consider being inside of a car kind of like being inside of a box. Then when I got into Minneapolis, I’d go into the insurance company and I sat in a cubicle for eight hours. That’s 10 hours per day in a box — life in a box.” He found Yankton to be a perfect fit for him. “One of the reasons why I chose to move Rich Andre to Yankton is because Yankton’s the size of town you can get anywhere you want to on a bike,” he said. “Every day that I ride a bike around Yankton, I appreciate the fact that I don’t have a roof over my head at that time. Instead of living in a box, you can see the sky. For 17 years, I would rarely see the sky during the day. That was huge for me. It was a completely life-changing event to move to Yankton because I could finally see the sky.” Prior to coming to Yankton, Andre said he did a little bit Matt Dvorak of biking recreationally in Minnesota. “I wasn’t serious about cycling,” he said. “I had bikes but it wasn’t on my radar to be thinking about riding a bike to get to a certain destination. I would take a bike and go for a ride for a while.” Upon leaving the insurance industry, the first thing Andre did was buy an orange cruising bike. “When I came to Yankton, I rode that bike absolutely everywhere,” he said. “Anybody that saw me saw me on this bike.” From there, Andre’s collection grew to include road bikes, a cargo bike, a tandem bike and others. Today, Andre is up to 14 bicycles of all types. “There’s no excuse for me to not ever ride a bike,” he said. “Rain, shine, snowpack, ice, I have a bike to get me where I want to go.” Dvorak said he currently has a road bike and a touring bike that he uses regularly. He’s developed such a passion for biking that he even applied the special name to a business he owns — Peloton Physical Therapy. “It’s a biking term that means a group of bicyclers that ride in a group together,” he said. “Peloton PT kind of has a ring to it. Most people don’t know what it means, but we put a big definition on our wall when you first come in to the clinic that explains that.” Dvorak even took to hanging a couple of his old bikes high up on the clinic’s walls.

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