Milltown Man goes on a cross-country bike experience to have a good time a 100 pound weight reduction
MILLTOWN, NJ – On March 1, community resident Nick Grisi set off on the path of his life. A cross-country bike ride along the ACA Southern Tier Bike Route. The trail runs from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida and extends for 3,092 miles. Grisi makes the trek to celebrate a great achievement last year; a 100 pound weight loss.
The 40-year-old food and beverage event advisor made a big move last February as the coronavirus pandemic made its way towards Garden State.
“I decided it was time after I had gradually gained significant weight over the past few years,” explained Grisi. “This was due to a hectic work schedule of travel, long late hours and unhealthy eating. I felt uncomfortable and everyday tasks became a challenge. So I decided to go to a gym and devote my time to losing weight and becoming mine too My 40th birthday was a factor in that decision. I quickly hit the track and then the gym closed because of the pandemic. Instead of giving up everything I had done up to that point, I bought all the equipment I could and drove away from my routine at home. “
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Silenced at home, Grisi stayed on track with his weight loss program by walking, doing strength training, using an elliptical, riding a bike and making major changes to his eating habits. In just four months, he lost 100 pounds and dropped weight thanks to the virus-induced statewide lockdown while spending a lot of time on his bike.
“The pandemic put a screeching end to my industry,” continued Grisi. “That meant spending a lot of time on my bike.”
The idea for a cross-country bike ride came to Grisi during a 75-mile hike through Crook County, Wyoming. Like most children who grew up, he enjoyed cycling and got his first mountain bike at the age of 18. Driving across the country has always been a dream of his.
“Since I’ve been spending more time on my bike, I thought there was no better time to do this than now,” he added.
In preparation, Grisi has spent the last year riding his bike wherever he could. He has ridden numerous bike paths in his home state of New Jersey and explored parts of California, Wyoming and Florida. Grisi also stuck to his exercise regimen and diet to be in the best possible shape to complete the 3,000-mile drive.
The ACA Southern Tier Bike Route was put together in 1976 by the Adventure Cycling Association for the bicentenary. A hike along the trail usually takes eight to ten weeks, depending on Mother Nature. Grisi will do the ride alone, but he is connected through social media to other cycling enthusiasts who will be riding the trail at the same time as him.
“I was told that you will meet a lot of other people on the street, but everyone is on their own journey at their own pace,” said Grisi. “So people will come and go along the way.”
His goal is to drive about 50 miles a day and camp most nights, though he plans weekly breaks at a hotel to recharge his batteries.
Grisi set up a GoFundMe to finance part of the travel expenses. However, 50% of the donations received go to Milltown’s Karma Cat and Zen Dog Rescue Society. He and his friend Stef Andara adopted their cats Po and Mantis from the rescue. His GoFundMe has already raised over $ 5,000.
“My girlfriend and I are cat lovers, and when Karma Cat and Zen Dog Rescue moved into their place in Milltown, it was a great way to help animals through a local organization,” he said. “We have donated items to their fundraiser over the years and my friend has volunteered there when time permits. This is an opportunity to do something bigger for her and they are a great organization, helping so many Animals and doing things in connection with the local community. So it really is a breeze to make an effort to support their mission. “
Grisi hopes he won’t run into snow or scorpions on his journey, but otherwise isn’t nervous about embarking on his cross-country adventure. He is looking forward to documenting his hike with his new GoPro 360. Grisi will share photos from the trip on social media and update his GoFundMe page on his way through the southern United States. He is really looking forward to the miles of uninterrupted bike rides.
“Seeing your surroundings from a bike is a completely different way of seeing the world,” said Grisi. “I’m learning the landscape a lot more. I love Arizona and we hope we can move there one day. I’m really excited that the bike route goes through this area. Just the ease of being out there and carrying your gear to take as much or as little time to get to the next stop. “
People can stay up to date on Grisi’s journey as soon as it kicks off March 1st via his Facebook and GoFundMe pages.
“I would like to thank everyone so far and in the future for being so generous and helping me and Karma Cat and Zen Dog Rescue with their donations,” said Grisi. “I would also like to thank my friend Stef and our cats Po and Mantis for supporting this whole company so incredibly.”
“Without them, none of this would be possible,” he added. “I love you Stef!”