ROY -- Bob Quick's journey is starting to become a reality. He will head out on a 12-week cross-country trek the first week of September. But the catch for him is that he will do it with 16 stents and a pacemaker defibrillator to keep his heart beating.
Quick spent a day last week doing a series of tests at the Roy fire station to find out how much work his heart can handle before he needs to take a rest as he goes on his journey with his son, Conrad Quick.
It seemed fitting that the man who saved his life nine years ago when Quick went into cardiac arrest was on hand to run his tests through a program called "Fit to Respond," conducted for firefighters to test their endurance and aerobic and anaerobic thresholds.
Troy Easton well remembers responding to Bob Quick all those years ago. He knew Quick a little bit because of various interactions in the city of Roy, but the two became very close after Easton brought him back to life, as Quick puts it.
Since then, Quick has often called on Easton when he has had health troubles, and Easton has visited his home many times at odd hours to make sure Quick is OK. Helping him on his bike journey is no different.
Easton, who now owns Emergency Management Solutions, a company that tests firefighters' fitness, was talking to Quick about his fitness level and realized that he needed to know some things, so that when Bob is on his journey alone with Conrad, he knows when he needs to slow down, when he needs to eat and what he should be eating.
The test, called VO2 Sub Max, is a kind of support awareness training that not only looks at Quick's cardiac history, but measures what his aerobic and anaerobic thresholds are.
"It tells us exactly where he is at. It is right on the money," Easton said of being able to tell how many calories Quick is burning at different phases of his aerobic state.
"He didn't know how many carbs he should be taking in and how many he was burning. This test tells us exactly that," Easton said.
Easton has loved watching Quick recover from what could have been a life-ending cardiac disease.
"Statistically his type of cardiac disease, if he didn't change his ways ... he would have never come out of this when he hit the deck," Easton said as he watched Quick run on the treadmill with a huge mask attached to his face.
Because of Easton and the rest of the Roy Fire Department's involvement in Quick's life, he has decided to pay it forward as well. He is working to not only make his bike ride a statement of what someone can do who has had debilitating health problems, but he is also trying to raise money for causes close to his heart.
He is asking people to donate money and in-kind donations to four charities as part of his race. He is determined that McKay-Dee Hospital, Primary Children's Medical Center, the Wounded Warrior fund and the Roy Fire Department will benefit from his ride.
"I want to raise a million dollars," Bob Quick said.
So far, he has raised about $8,000 in cash and got a washer, dryer and stove donated to the fire department.
He plans to hit up big donors on his ride -- like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, he said.
"They have the money and they can do it," he said, grinning.
Quick will start his trip in San Diego and end up in Florida. Easton will meet up with him in the last days of the trip to finish the ride, and Easton's wife, Marla, who is also a Roy Fire captain, along with Roy Fire Chief Jason Poulsen, will be waiting on the beach when the ride finishes.
Both Marla and Poulsen are very pleased with what Quick is doing.
"We made a difference in his life, and he makes a difference in ours," Poulsen said.
Quick often visits the firehouse and cooks for the firefighters and offers service when he can. Poulsen is arranging firehouse stays for Bob and Conrad all along their journey, so they'll have a place to sleep, shower and eat a good meal along the way.
Easton is also arranging for food drops, courtesy of the Roy Fire Department, to be delivered to the firehouses, so Bob and Conrad don't have to take time to buy and shop for food.
"Look how many people are here supporting me," Bob Quick said as he looked around the Roy firefighters' weight room. "It's thanks to them I am doing this," he said of his ride.
Conrad Quick also did the fitness testing so he, too, would have a good base to go on.
"We can't forget his kid. If something happens at the end of the day, his son has to be able to be in good enough shape to take care of his dad," Easton said.
A send-off party will be held for Bob Quick at 6 p.m. Thursday at Sonora Grill in The Junction in Ogden.