When Sandy approached me and said I want you to write about why you ride, my response was… no, you don’t want to highlight me, I am not a success story! Sandy responded and said that’s NOT what this is about, we’ve been riding together for a long time, I want you to write and tell me why. As I began to think about it, and hoped he would forget to follow-up (not a chance!), I realized he had a good point. Although last season was a challenge and family commitments prevented me from riding as often or as fast as I once had, it’s not why I started riding, or why I still enjoy it. Years ago, maybe 2007, I joined my co-workers in the annual ACS Bike-a-Thon. I’m not a very competitive person, so bike riding was a good fit for me, and it was a fun activity to do with my young teenage son, while supporting an organization that had meaning to our family. For several years, I rode my dusty twenty year old Nishiki 10-speed and my son rode his mountain bike. We worked our way up – the first year we started in Hamilton, second year Cherry Hill, eventually Philly. It had nothing to do about how fast we rode – I don’t even think we looked or had a gadget to tell us! It was about spending time together, chatting along the way, accomplishing a healthy goal, and enjoying the day. As my son started to outgrow riding with mom, my husband, Simon, joined me for an ACS ride. We had a great day and found it was something we also enjoyed together. Later that year, Simon came across the Team Evesham website and we showed up for an early fall ride. Not knowing what to expect, we felt a little apprehensive. Brad Davis was the ride leader and he was just great, made us feel welcomed, explained how to ride in a group, the rules of the road, etc. By the time the weather warmed up the following spring we were hooked. When I look back over the last 5 years, as much as I love my bike and the great feeling I have when I finish a long ride, what’s really important is, I simply enjoy getting out, the fresh air, the exercise, the friendly faces on a Sunday morning, and most importantly, the new friendships we have formed all because of Team Evesham.
So Sandy, thank you for the reminder, the encouragement, and for being the guiding force that brings us all together, to Dave Bennis for your hours of route planning and my desire to ride as strong as you when I’m your age, and to Brad for your genuine kindness and getting us involved in the very beginning. Looking forward to warm and sunny days!