Retired Suffolk Police officer Joel Howard completed a cross-country bike ride from Virginia to Oregon, beginning April 28 and finishing Aug. 2. (Submitted photo) By James W. Robinson
Joel Howard is celebrating after a huge cross-country accomplishment.
On Aug. 2, Howard completed the TransAmerica bike route from Virginia to Oregon that he started on April 28.
In an Aug. 4 interview, Howard spoke about the adventure, the hardships, and the advice to those who dream of taking the challenge.
Originally born in Texas, he lived his first 12 years there before moving to Florida. Howard then moved to Virginia Beach during his high school years and has lived in the area ever since. He served as a police officer for the Norfolk Police Department for 28 years from 1977 through 2005. After retiring as captain, he joined the Suffolk Police Department as a civilian police officer in 2006 where he was an analyst and planner for 15 years until his retirement in 2021.Howard spoke on how after retirement, he wanted to accomplish something special as a bicyclist.“I’ve had an interest in bikes when I lived in Virginia Beach and I bought a bike there and I enjoyed riding it, but I also enjoyed running,” Howard said. “About12 years ago, I had hip replacement surgery and that kind of took my running out of the equation. So I strictly had to kind of do biking… and I enjoyed it.”Howard said riding was a hobby, it was not necessarily a passion. […]