“What’s wrong with knowing what you know now and not knowing what you don’t know until later?”
—Winnie the Pooh

I grew up in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, a small town not unlike any other in the Midwest but moved to Colorado for college and followed the playbook for success—go to business school, take the high paying job, buy the house, and get the girl. But this success was an illusion. After doing my time in corporate America, I founded and ran a hospice with my mother from 2005-2015. Through serving patients at the end of their lives, I learned the greatest lesson, one not found in any business school or cubical—the value of time.

Then sometimes, life happens—collapse of the family business, loss of the girl, and death of a close friend to terminal illness. But instead of asking “what would do if you knew you could not fail?”, instead, I was given a “gift of time” and wondered, “what would you do if time was not a factor?”  

In June 2016, intent on cashing in this gift of time, I set off on what was supposed to be a 4 week bikepacking trip to figure it out, that somehow turned into nearly 2 years taking me through deserts in Israel, over mountains in Tibet, and even a clinic to treat worms in India. To date I have cycled through 18 countries (and counting).  

What did I learn? Life is about connection and time is a gift.  Don’t waste it.

My Story

The Chronology of Jerry

Age

5

I got my first bike in Marshall, MI, and knew immediately that bikes always win.

Age

18

I was fired from my first job as a busboy at age in a 5-star restaurant in Lansing, MI for snatching food from outgoing entrees. I guess that’s frowned upon?

Age

20

During college, I worked in undercover loss prevention at an upscale department store in Boulder, CO. My job was to catch shoplifters. Sure, the kids with giant backpacks were easy to spot, but I couldn’t believe the number of people who looked like my mom! (Note: my mom is not a thief).

Age

24

My first job out of college was with the Federal Reserve Bank in Denver, CO. Remember the Y2K crisis? Yeah, nothing happened. Worst New Year’s Eve ever.

Age

36

Won my first and only mountain bike race in Winter Park, CO then promptly retired. Quite the career.

Age

42

A friend sent me a text message that simply read, “Everyone needs a friend that will call you up and say, ‘Get dressed f#cker, we’re going on an adventure.’” No truer words have ever been uttered to me.