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Gary Johnson Takes Time off the Campaign Trail

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Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (Fox News Photo)

The number of officially announced candidates for the GOP nomination continues to grow, but the one who announced first will be absent from the campaign trail this week. Gary Johnson tells Fox News he will instead be on a week-long cycling trip in the mountains of California.

"We will ride anywhere from 50 to 70 miles each day on our bicycles for one week straight. The riding here is just about as good as it gets - amazing back roads and hilly terrain," Johnson says.

Cycling? In the middle of a presidential campaign?

"This might very well be my last chance to take a break in this endeavor," Johnson explains. "I also did this same event last year, which was the longest break that I took in 2010. Everyone needs to recharge their batteries, and I'm going to come out of this week with some serious energy."

Most people, not to mention other presidential candidates, would not view riding up to 70 miles a day as relaxation. But extreme sports are part of the former New Mexico governor's makeup. He completed the Iron Man competition five times in years past and has run over 30 marathons.

And when he mentions that he smoked marijuana for medical reasons many years ago, he explains that a caregiver recommended it for serious pain he suffered as a result of bones broken in a hang gliding accident.

This week's endeavor seems almost tame by comparison. "A good friend of mine hosts about 15 riders every year at his house in St. Helena, CA. The whole week is filled with wonderful friends, food, drink (even though I don't drink myself), and world class cycling."

Johnson's son Erik, who works for his campaign, tells Fox News this week's event is just what his dad needs before doubling down on the campaign trail. "Unlike most people that look at riding 400 miles on a bike as an exhausting endeavor, this is just the type of thing that energizes him and gets him ready to work even harder with this campaign."