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The Suburbanite
  • To The Extreme: Magnolia man serious about bicycling

  • Charles J. Knott of Magnolia has ridden bicycles “on and off” since he was in college in the early 1970s. Lately, since he took up “ultra-cycling,” it has been mostly “on,” for lengthy periods — like 12 or 24 hours at a time. 

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  • Charles J. Knott of Magnolia has ridden bicycles “on and off” since he was in college in the early 1970s. Lately, since he took up “ultra-cycling,” it has been mostly “on,” for lengthy periods — like 12 or 24 hours at a time.  
    “I didn’t cycle much when my kids were growing up, but when they were gone I joined the Stark County Bicycle Club and rode with those guys,” said Knott. “A friend I ride with had run marathons, and he said, ‘Let’s do that 24-hour race in Michigan.’ In a weak moment, I said ‘Yeah.’ ”
    That was in 2009, and Knott has been doing the National 24-Hour Challenge in Middleville, Mich., ever since. The 60-year-old Timken Co. engineer also has participated in the 12-hour Calvin’s Challenge race near Springfield, Ohio. Said Knott:
    “Races generally consist of determining how many miles one can ride a bicycle in a fixed amount of time.”
    KNOTT’S RIDING PERFORMANCE, BY THE NUMBERS
    432 Miles Knott has ridden in the National 24-Hour Challenge. In 2009, Knott rode 381.4 miles in 24 hours. In 2010, he set a new record in his age division (55-59) with 432.6 miles. In 2011, he rode 420.1 miles. This year, in brutally hot weather, he rode 411.4 miles — still a record for his 60-64 age category and good enough for third place overall.
    92 Temperature on Father’s Day for this year’s National 24-Hour Challenge. Wind blew at between 9 and 22 mph. It was a day in which 22 riders reportedly were taken off the course because of heat exhaustion or dehydration. It also was a day during which Knott, though he took short breaks, rode all but a total of 53 minutes out of the 24 hours. “The trick is to eat before you get hungry and drink before you get thirsty.”
    840 Miles Knott and his oldest son, Matt, rode in the 2011 Michigan race, during which they raised money for Cross Eyed Missions, operated by Dr. Brady Kail of Waynesburg. “Benefactors could wager against Matt and I breaking the national father-son combined record of 782 miles,” explained Knott. “We were able to beat the previous record by each riding 420.1 miles for a combined total of 840.2 miles. We raised nearly $7,000.”
    3 People in the crew supporting Knott and his son, Matt, in the 2011 race, which was a family affair since that crew consisted of Knott’s wife, Claire, and their two other sons, Joey and Tommy. “You’ve got to have a crew to make sure you get what you need to ride,” said Knott. “You get to the point where you don’t want to eat or drink anymore. That’s why you have a crew — to make sure you do.”
    — COMPILED BY GARY BROWN
    gary.brown@cantonrep.com
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