My story of how I came to Team Evesham starts at the soccer fields of VSA, the Voorhees Soccer Association.
Everyone knows the term ‘soccer moms’ but there are also ‘soccer dads’ and we all became very friendly as our daughters progressed through the years. It was around Spring 2012 and one of the dads, Joe Pilato (also currently a Team Evesham member) mentioned that he had done the MS 150 City To Shore ride the previous year to support his friend and coworker whose wife suffered from MS. He mentioned to a number of us that we should all join with him that coming fall. It would be a cool bonding event, and somehow five us agreed to do the ride. Mind you I had not ridden a bike in about twenty years, and I was terrified of the idea of riding 150 miles over two days. But for some reason I agreed to do it.
Now, I needed to prepare. I had a twenty year old hybrid bike that I took to D&Q to see if it would be good to use, and outside of changing the tires and the saddle they said it was a good bike to start with. It was heavy but it would do. So now I was committed.
We trained by riding together in a small group and in late September I completed the ride. Slowly but I got there. I was proud of the accomplishment and I knew too that I loved riding and that I would always be doing it. But I hated riding alone, and my group of friends were all at varying levels of capability…translated I couldn’t keep up. I needed a place to go where I could ride with people of my capability and found Team Evesham. And so it began.
I don’t exactly remember how I found out about the team but I started doing C/ C+ rides over the next few summers. I stopped riding when it got cold and lost all of the speed that I had built up and had to start over again the next spring. But the more I came out the more I got to know the folks on the rides and the more I enjoyed being part of the team. I found that I became riding buddies with people in my group and looked forward every Saturday and Sunday to riding with my new found friends. For example I knew that as long as I had Leslie on my left it was going to be a good ride. That is the thing about the team that I like the most… everyone is so welcoming and friendly and supports and encourages you no matter what skill level you are at. The positive energy is what keeps me coming back. And the riding skills that I have learned have given me the confidence to eventually do other challenging charity rides such as the Eagles Autism Challenge, the American Cancer Society Bike-A-Thon, and the [Team Evesham] Ride For Olivia.
I have now added an indoor bike to supplement my outdoor riding and the consistent training has helped me accomplish things that I didn’t think I could ever do, including doing my first TE B-ride. I am thankful that we have such a great resource right here in our part of South Jersey.