As a kid I had dreams of riding the Tour de France thanks to the movie “Breaking Away”. My parents granted my wish of a real racing bike for a combined birthday, Christmas and any other holiday gift in the form of a Raleigh Record 10-speed bicycle. I rode the heck out of that bike throughout my preteen and teen years though never in a race of any kind. At 16 a moped replaced my beloved Raleigh Record. This was soon replaced with a car then added a motorcycle. My thoughts drifted back to my beautiful bicycle collecting dust in my parents’ shed but never made it out on the street or to my home.
Fast-forward 29 years of hard life where I had just kicked a 2-pack a day smoking habit. When shin splints curtailed my running to combat the weight gain I bought my first grown-up road bike. At the insistence of my longtime friend Steve it was a white Specialized Dolce Comp leftover that saved me a couple hundred dollars but was still 2x what I planned to pay for a hybrid. My dear husband Dave said I’d better get my money’s worth out of it. My (former) co-worker Mike Hamilton suggested Team Evesham as a great cycling club for all levels to ride with but especially beginner friendly.
My first ride with Team Evesham was in 2013 on a Saturday 25-mile ride from Virtua Health in Moorestown. This is where I first met Sandy Student who was extremely welcoming and settled those initial nerves I had. I recall Sandy giving me some of the history of the area during the ride. Dennis Dahms had made a huge impression on me by motivating me through the second half of the ride where I was feeling the fatigue of maintaining a C to C+ pace for longer than I’d thought I ever could. I was grateful to everyone on that ride for sticking with me. I challenged myself to ride on my own during the next few weeks to build my endurance for the longer Sunday rides.
The sheer number of blue and yellow Team Evesham jerseys was daunting on that first Sunday. I was relieved to see people of all shapes, sizes, ages and experience levels. Andre Raspanti was the C ride leader whose gentle guidance throughout the ride calmed any fears I had. I hoped to emulate that one-day if I were to ever become a ride leader. I grew so much in that first year riding every chance I got. I was hooked. I loved the camaraderie and the emphasis on safety all while exercising. Dennis Wall recruited me as a ride leader in 2018. It’s my honor to lead the C group. I enjoy promoting safe riding techniques and share my love for riding.
2020 marks my 8th season cycling with Team Evesham. I still haven’t raced the Tour de France but I’ve accomplished more than I expected possible in my 50s including several 100-mile charity bike rides. I’m grateful to the confidence & friendships I’ve built with the added health benefit. No matter where I go or whom I ride with, Team Evesham is my family & home club. I see every ride as a gift and thankful for that ‘one more ride’.