Theodore Hale, 22, of Kettering and Glenn Stoops, 80, of Oakwood to cycle Colorado’s Independence Pass
Their first bike ride in 2012 started at Girl Scout Park in Beavercreek, then Xenia, Young’s Dairy in Yellow Springs, and back. The journey took about seven hours. After that ride, Hale was hooked.
“That first feeling of driving. Just the feeling I got when I did. My very first long bike ride,” Hale said.
Stoops started riding when he lived in California in the 1970s. He rode his bike to work, rain or shine. He started taking longer rides after his wife suggested he ride the Huffman bike ride, where riders ride 100 miles. Stoops has been around for 44 straight years.
Cycling isn’t the only thing friends do together. Both donated blood to the Community Blood Center. Stoops since an accident in 1979 caused him two blood transfusions, and Hale since he was finally able to make it on his 14th try. Stoops donated blood 389 times and Hale donated 93 times.
“Before I hit six, I should hit 100. I like giving back to the community. It’s just a good, easy way to give back,” Hale said. “I like Pepsi, too.”
Hale hopes to donate 1,000 times in his lifetime and he estimates he will do so in his 50s. Hale, who is on the autism spectrum, has a plan for just about everything. He said he didn’t allow his disability to be a “crutch”.
“One of my big things is that I’m great with no excuses. No excuses. Not for bad grades. Not for missing bike rides. Not for failing to donate blood. No excuses,” said Tan.
Stoops was quick to add that Hale wasn’t giving himself the credit he deserved. Hale was voted top senior while attending Fairmont High School. Hale made sure to add that he was also the king of reunions. Hale also just received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wright State University, with a grade of 3.95.
“I won’t say it’s overdone, but it’s close to the edge. He influences so many people in so many ways that I just have to admire him,” Stoops said.
The admiration is mutual. Hale said he admired Stoops’ conduct, and that while Stoops might have to take a break from some things in the future, he hasn’t been stopped yet.
“He didn’t give up. He could easily say, “I don’t want to ride a bike anymore. He refuses to give up and he does his best,” Hale said.
Beyond the Independence Pass bike ride, Hale has big plans for the future. Currently, he has cycled through 510 cities in 49 different counties in five different states. It will hit 50 counties this week. In total, he covered 31,321 miles. And that’s just the beginning.
“I want to get 100,000 miles. I hope by the time I get 1,000 blood donations, I’ll hit 100,000 miles. And it will be nice. It will be like 100 miles for every blood donation. If you stick with it, it’s doable. If you say you want to get 1,000 blood donations, you will get 1,000 donations. If you want to do 100,000 miles and you bust your ass, you’re gonna get 100,000 miles,” he said.