Editor’s Note: Team Fur Bandit will introduce our most active members through compiled biographies. Our goal is to help you learn more about who they are and why they commit wholeheartedly to charitable giving via cycling. Additional questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are you, age, what do you do for a living (occupation), residence (town name), local affiliations (groups involved in).
DJ Wilson – captain of Team Fur Bandit, age 31, Business owner/Manager at Coachmans Towing, Machesney Park, IL.
What brought you to Team Fur Bandit? Why do you ride (life experience, hobby, health etc)?
Kyle and I were going to RAGBRAI in 2006. I was building choppers and Kyle was putting fur on bikes. My modified Schwinn varsity (10 speed chopper) broke so I furred up my father’s 10-speed Raleigh. We discovered we had something cool and Team Fur Bandit was born. I ride to keep healthy physically and mentally.
Let’s talk accomplishments. How many miles have you logged this year? Why does keeping count matter to you?
About 3,500 miles so far this year! Keeping track of my miles is gratifying and setting a goal keeps me motivated.
Go back in time. The year is 1989. What are you riding (bike color, describe it and state your age at the time.)
In 1989 I was 9 years old and riding a Huffy 5-speed dirt bike with a suicide shifter. It was black with a padded top tube and handle bars.
The fur stands out. Why do you subscribe to furring up your ride?
The projects that we do require us to get the most attention. It is interesting when a team with furry bikes can get together and organize a charity event, therefore the charity benefits. It is just plain fun to turn heads while riding a furry bike.
Going the distance: What’s the longest bike ride you have taken?
RAGBRAI 2008 when we rode 472 miles (4 miles longer than the route that year). On a single day my longest bike ride was 115 miles in June 2012 from Brodhead, Wis., to Madison then back to Machesney Park, Ill.
You take the roads less traveled or those beaten up on a daily basis locally. What do you think is needed? How can you help make it happen?
Having more cyclists enter the realm of politics would initiate road repair, make new bike paths and laws in favor of bicyclists. The effect of a strong bicycling community would positively impact health, minimize gasoline consumption, and strengthen our local economy. Gathering the maximum amount of people to attend any given bike ride will get people more involved.
When you’re not on your bike, where can you be found?
With my family or at work.
Pick a celebrity local or famous. Who would you like to see on a Team Fur Bandit ride?
What’s the best life advice you’ve ever been given? How can you apply it to riding?
“If you shoot at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” These words help me focus on my lofty goals.