Meet Mike McNees. He is the President/CEO of Syndicus, the company based in Annapolis, Maryland, that provides technical, engineering and scientific staffing services.
Mr. McNees is a Pittsburgh native and he is joining the Point Made! team in Cumberland yesterday and is pedaling with them all the way to Pittsburgh. His son Matthew is riding along as well.
The McNees are set to conquer the trail with a mission. The mission is to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes. Mike himself is a diabetes 2 Type patient but he has managed it well with exercise and diet. The McNees family wanted to ride the trail on their own, but when they heard of the Point Made! team, they decided to join them out of camaraderie.
We spoke with Mike McNees before the trip, here are some excerpts from the interview.
PG: Tell us why are going on this trip?
Mike McNees: It began with Syndicus, the company I lead, back when we performed services for the Beacon company, it started with a 1 million dollar initiative called HealthELink. It was an important initiative focused on Type 2 diabetes management and awareness, the goal was to go out and improve the health of Diabetes Type 2 patients and Diabetes Type 2 awareness. We wanted to take that mission even further, beyond the Beacon project and, thus, this bike ride.
PG: What are your expectations for the ride?
Mike McNees: Our expectations are very simple to raise awareness about Diabetes Type 2, we are not looking for sponsors, not looking for funding. Our goal is to raise awareness about Diabetes Type 2. We would like to convey to people that with a careful planning based on a diet and plenty of exercise, Diabetes Type 2 patients can control their diabetes. We also hope to have a very good time on the GAP ride with the Point Made! team.
PG: What kind of bike you have?
I have a Scattante, it was a gift from my son for my most recent 60th birthday. My son Matthew is a cyclist. He lives in Greensboro, for him 100 miles a day is nothing.
Photo: Michael and Matthew McNees ready for the ride
PG: How did you become a cyclist and how did you prepare for this ride?
Mike McNees: I took on cycling this year, really. As a young man, I was a cycling enthusiast. I used to bike in the Pittsburgh area when I was based there (Editor's note: McNees' office used to be in Pittsburgh until 2005). For this ride, I have been training 3-4 times a week in Annapolis, Maryland. I usually ride along the B&A Trail park. It runs along an abandoned railway, the Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad, it has been converted into this 13 plus mile-long rail trail.
PG: You are a Pittsburgh native, what do have to say about cycling in Pittsburgh?
Mike McNees: I sense that Pittsburgh has caught on fire as far as cycling is concerned. There are so many new trails, new developments, enthusiasm. I see it as a positive development. That brings me to the point why Syndicus chose cycling rather than, say, tennis or swimming, it is because of the ease with whith you can integrate cycling into your lifestyle. Any member of your family, at any stage of their life and cycling career can adapt cycling to their lifestyle. We also chose biking because it’s also environmentally correct thing to do.
Follow the McNees’ adventures on Twitter @SyndicusInc.
Here is today’s photo of Mike McNees crossing the Eastern Continental Divide