I really love to ride, but it started a while ago, on my Kelly green, Schwinn 1 speed sting-ray living in northern Manhattan north of the GW Bridge. At 10 years old my buddies and I would ride across the GW Bridge to Ft Lee to a 7-11 and get a Slurpee because there weren’t any 7-11s in NYC. It was fun to ride across the GW Bridge, and we’d ride along the Hudson River to the Little Red Lighthouse under the bridge and by the boat basin on the NJ side. Across from Fort Tryon Park we’d look across the river and see where we live. Like many bikes in NYC, mine got stolen as I only locked the front wheel (lessons learned at 10 – lock the frame!!).
Fast forward to when I’m 16, and I need my Dad to drive me to a bike shop to get a 10 speed bike. I have the $75 to buy the bike and he looks at me in the eye and says “$75 is a lot of money, are you sure you want to buy the bike, ARE YOU GONNA RIDE IT?”
Well, to prove to Dad that I was going to ride it, I rode the bike from home to Central Park, around the 10K loop and back. On another day I’d ride to Bear Mountain up 9W and back. I joined the American Youth Hostels in “The Village” and bought camping equipment for bike riders, and I’d ride and camp with another Eagle Scout friend in Harriman State Park.
At 20 years old, my friend and I went to Europe on our bikes. While in Paris under the Eiffel Tower, I replaced my broken spokes and named the bike “Spokey”. We’d take trains for long distances and “up” the mountains, and then we’d ride the bikes down the mountains. We stayed in Youth Hostels and were among many cyclists and backpackers. We spent two months riding through Europe; it was a trip of a lifetime and all because my Dad asked “Are you going to ride it?
I moved to Ohio in 1987 and put a baby seat on the back of Spokey, the kids would get to enjoy nature while dad exercised. When they were old enough I’d tie a jump rope to Spokie’s seat post and pull them on roller blades along the Little Miami Hiker Biker path. We relocated to NJ, the kids grew up and out.
In 2010 for outdoor exercise, Neal Wilson and I rode mountain bikes in Brenden Bryn State Park, and in 2011, Pete D’Antonio tells us about an outdoor road cycling club, Team Evesham. I took Spokey to the Team Evesham cycling event at the Promenade, and enjoyed being with a bunch of people doing the same thing. Brad Davis truly welcomed me and made me feel comfortable. I was advised of an upcoming bike swap at D&Q and bought a used road bike – sorry Spokey. I took my new bike “Scotty” on the next ride and after 20+ miles, Brad helped me with a newly found slow leak, Brad shot a CO2 cartridge into my tube and got us home unscathed.
Since then, I’ve fixed a few flats, made great friends and, the one day a week ride morphed into 2-4 rides per week. It appears I’ve become addicted to riding.
This month I rode the ACS ride wearing Team Evesham colors, enjoyed the TE support within the bigger ACS ride support, and truly had the greatest time. I love this stuff, and I thank Dad for asking if I will really ride the $75 bike and I thank Team Evesham for creating this great club to participate in.