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Life is a cycle

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England - Tech. Sgt. Chad Cox, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron resource advisor, inputs data on a spreadsheet at Hangar 7 on Sept. 23, 2011. Cox participates in cycling charity events to keep fit, raise money for others and bond with his family. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany M. Deuel)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England - Tech. Sgt. Chad Cox, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron resource advisor, inputs data on a spreadsheet at Hangar 7 on Sept. 23, 2011. Cox participates in cycling charity events to keep fit, raise money for others and bond with his family. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany M. Deuel)

CHEVINGTON, England – (left to right) Tech. Sgt. Chad Cox, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron resource advisor, rides with father-in-law, Michael Wilde, wife Catherine and 5-year-old daughter Anika during the Suffolk Historic Churches bike event, Sept. 10, 2011. Cox hopes to participate in the London to Paris bike event July 2012. (Courtesy photo by Valerie Wilde)

CHEVINGTON, England – (left to right) Tech. Sgt. Chad Cox, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron resource advisor, rides with father-in-law, Michael Wilde, wife Catherine and 5-year-old daughter Anika during the Suffolk Historic Churches bike event, Sept. 10, 2011. Cox hopes to participate in the London to Paris bike event July 2012. (Courtesy photo by Valerie Wilde)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Balancing work, fitness, family and time to volunteer can prove difficult for some. Tech Sgt. Chad Cox, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron resource manager, has managed to find a way to tick all the boxes at once.

Four months ago, as his 5-year-old daughter Anika began riding her bicycle without training wheels, Cox decided to get back into cycling again.

"I started mountain biking 16 years ago and got into it again now that my daughter is cycling," said Cox. "I figured it would be a good way to help out the community."

This year, Cox has completed the Marie Curie Cancer Care ride and the Suffolk Historic Churches bike ride.

The Marie Curie Cancer Care bike event took place in August along the Suffolk coast. The event raised money for people with terminal cancer and illnesses to receive treatment in their homes.

"I rode 60 miles and raised £260 for the charity," said Cox.

The Suffolk Historic Churches bike event, involving more than 600 churches, raises money to repair the churches.

"I raised £99, cycled 55 miles and visited 18 churches", said Cox. "I visited three churches with my daughter, six with my father-in law and the remainder I did solo."

Not only does cycling help raise money. It also helps us appreciate of the surroundings we pass on a daily basis.

"[Cycling] is a good way to appreciate the countryside around us. The peace, the beauty and the openness of the world around," said Michael Wilde, Cox's father-in-law. "The slow pace, height and angle give me a different view of things I pass every day in the car without noticing them."

Cox has not only found a way to stay fit, help raise money and enjoy the English countryside but also discovered a way to bond with his family.

"Growing up, I did a lot of cycling and every year I did the Suffolk Historic Church ride with my father", said Catherine Cox, Cox's wife. "It is a big part of the family and I love cycling together."

With 5-year-old Anika off the training wheels, the family is able to pass on their love of cycling.

"I like to see nature while cycling," said Anika. "I like doing the Suffolk Churches bike event to collect money to help the churches."

With two events under the belt for 2011, Cox looks forward to a new event in 2012.

"I plan to do the London to Paris ride towards the end of July 2012 with my father-in-law," said Cox.

With his entire family involved in cycling events, Cox has found time to remain active in the community, stay fit and enjoy life with his loved ones.