I began my riding career five years ago, some say too late in life. I disagree with that statement. After a winter of too much couch potato and not enough exercise I had this brilliant idea that I wanted to start riding a bike. So I hoped on a mountain bike and took a spin around town. One Sunday I decided to go for it and ride the full length of Kresson Road all the way out and back. Well, let’s just say that I had no idea what a properly inflated tire was and my bike had no water bottle holder. I’m very grateful for 7-11. That fourteen miles felt like two hundred miles and I was extremely exhausted and decided that biking was not a fun sport. A friend of ours heard that I was interested in riding and offered me his road bike. The bike, built back in the 80s was made of titanium and very heavy – but it was mine to ride!
So that summer I began my real riding experience going farther on each ride. I basically rode by myself and had no clue about the rules of the road and biking etiquette. I attended a class at REI on how to change a tire and clean your chain, and there I met three of the nicest people, Brad, Wendy, and Mike, and they were very enthusiastic about this riding team called TEAM EVESHAM. So I show up for my first Sunday ride and there are a grand total of nine of us. Jimmy Sweet was our ride leader. I fell behind from the start, but at the end of the day I had a completed my first of many Sunday rides. The next Sunday was the same nine people again, but it was only 29 degrees and windy and I didn’t have the proper clothing and I had never been so cold in all my life! As the weather got warmer the numbers got bigger too, as many 30 to 40 riders.
So my first experience in a big ride was the American Cancer Society event, which personally meant a lot to me. Of course leading up to the ride my “model-T” bike starts breaking down and I had twelve flats in one week. I finally get bike fixed late the night before the ACS ride. The next morning, I put on my very own Team Evesham jersey! There’s nothing better that getting up in the dark, riding on a train and looking at Independence Hall as the sun comes up behind the dome, my first ride over the bridge and I’m out in front of all of the other riders. It’s a fantastic feeling! I completed that ride with my riding buddies, Ross and Rich.
The summer got better, rides got longer, the TEAM began to grow, but most importantly the friendships began. On my first MS ride everyone wanted to do the century ride and I said okay I’m game. We started off in the dark again and four of us made a pact to stay together and we did for entire one hundred miles. Now this is not just an accomplishment, it’s an unbelievable experience, when you ride that last mile and all of those people are cheering for you, and when you get to that last block and you see your family waiting for you, that feeling will never get any better. I had the privilege to ride the ACS ride with my son, and that day he attained his longest ride, and we did it together.
So many of the team’s members have helped me recover from a few health issues and their genuine concern is what makes up our riding family. Team Evesham has taught me so much from riding, to friendships, to helping others who are new to riding and they just can’t keep up, and you stay with them and bring them home. The person says thank several times and you tell them that it’s okay I’ve have been there myself and you tell them I’ll see you next week and they reply you bet I will and I’ll do better. That’s what TEAM EVESHAM is all about.