Dusty Smith

Dusty is 75 years young and has participated in the TNHBR 19 years.

How long have you been cycling and what got you into it?

Interesting question…. My first memory of cycling was at the age of 6 or 7 I “borrowed” my older sister’s bike and walked it to the top of the hill on Gibson Road in Hudson where I grew up, hopped on and headed down, having not the slightest idea how to stop it. Panic of course ensued… I veered off the road and ran the bike and me into a pile of rusty silo hoops… we both (me and the bike) got a bit messed up. 

I think when I was maybe 10, I sunk my life savings ($37.50…why I remember that number I have no idea) into a red 3 speed “english bike” that we ordered from the Sears catalog…. It was awesome and was my transportation to almost anything I wanted to do… little league baseball, every pick up sport there was… you name it. In those days there was no parent transportation… you either biked, walked or hitchhiked… we lived as far from where the action was as you could be, so my red 3 speed got plenty of work.

I’ve had stretches of my life where I didn’t bike much, but, being on a bike riding along enjoying the scenery provides a sense of freedom little else does. Sue and I have taken a couple of cycling vacations in Europe, visiting both France and the Czech Republic.  Each of those treks provided some magic that I will never forget… particularly one leg of the Czech Republic tour where Sue and I got separated from our group and, shall we say, took the scenic route to our destination. 

A magical mystery tour through beautiful farm land and villages…sky and sun were perfect… as sunset approached we got close to the town we were staying in, approaching via a long downhill with the setting sun lighting up the red tile roofs of our destination… I remember us both stopping and just silently looking at the scene and thinking that we might never see or feel anything quite like that again. Which is the best reason in the world to keep riding… we all want that feeling again…. And again….

What did / do you do for work?

I’ve been in some aspect of the software business since I got out of the Navy in 1966… I lucked into learning how to write code for the first crude programmable calculators and leveraged that knowledge into a pretty fun career ride, mostly developing apps for land surveyors.  Today I’m still out on the software bleeding edge, doing business development for a small startup with some very cool facilities management applications. From a work perspective I’m the luckiest guy alive… my work never really feels like work… just engages my imagination to solve problems.

What is something that people from the ride might not know about you?

Interesting question… I’ve always been kind of an open book. Most people who know me know I’m not bashful about sharing an idea or an opinion.  I have a massive appetite for information and I’m interested in just about everything… I’ve played more sports with mediocrity than anybody I know… how good you are at something has little to do with whether you can have fun with it. 

I guess if I had to come up with ONE thing it would be that if I had it to do over again I would want to be a journalist or a writer… I am in awe of many of those people for their courage and skill telling the rest of us what happens in the world.

What are 3 things you would like your profile to say?

a. Nobody ever had more fun than me
b. I always try to clean up my messes
c. Always remember – if they can’t find you, they can’t kill you….keep moving


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