Local cyclist lives for adventure

There comes a time in our lives that we look at ourselves, and think, is this what I want to do?

For Portales resident Michael D. Parsons, it was the age of 30 that he saw where his life was pointing to and didn’t like it. He wasn’t happy and felt like he was getting old before his time. Before he turned 40, Parsons vowed that he would obtain his Ph. D and run a marathon.

“I was successful in both. It was around this time that I started to cycle,” said Parsons.

Parsons would run a few hours a day but would wake up sore. Cycling changed that, because he was able to train and cycle six to eighthours a day. While training, he injured his foot, which made him take up cycling full-time.

“I always thought it would be great to retire, travel the world, and cycle. I got a great opportunity, because I have an incredibly supportive wife, who also likes to travel,” said Parsons.

Parsons’ real passion for cycling came when he was watching the Tour de France, with Miguel Indurain.

“I thought that would be something incredible to do, to ride a bike like that. You have so much freedom,” said Parsons.

Parsons has traveled all over the country. He has been to Hawaii, Thailand, and everything in between. Parsons has started a tradition that every fall for the next five years, he will travel to a country and cycle. Some of his most memorable places have been Cambodia where he cycledto the Ho Chi Minh Highway.

“The longest I’ve cycled has been 102-103 miles in one day, but the longest was the Ho Chi Ming Highway. I don’t know if it was the longest, but it sure felt like it because of the heat and the hills”.

Parsons’ favorite and memorable trip was when he cycled in Italy.

“I just love Italy; the people there are so respectful. They care for the cyclist.”

Parsons is currentlytraveling in Thailand where he will cycle from Bangkok to Puckett. It will be an eight-day journey. He is part of a group that will cycle 60 miles a day. He will also do some one-day cycles in Portales. Over the winter break, Parsons will travel to Hawaii and cycle there, because it’s where his daughter lives. In June 2019, he will cycle through the French Alps.

Parsons also has a YouTube channel named after himself where he uploads vlogs of his journeys as well as a blog named, “getmytravellingshoes.”

His favorite quote: “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them” – Ernest Hemingway.

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