Twelve years ago, after a short but scary battle with cancer, I valued my health as a gift and wanted to do something with it to help others.
I joined the local chapter of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training—a group that uses marathons, biking and triathlons to raise money for cancer research. I’d long wondered if I had it in me to do a long-distance event.
In the cold of winter we started training for the Santa Fe Century, a 100-mile bike ride. I resisted buying all that ridiculous looking bike attire and an expensive road bike. Seriously, does anyone look good in that stuff?
Months passed and the miles added up. Eventually vanity gave way to practicality. I gave in and bought the jerseys, the shoes and even the road bike. I finally looked—and felt—like a cyclist.
May came and our team flew to New Mexico for the big event. The Santa Fe Century was a difficult, incredible and exhilarating life experience. As a result I continued with Team in Training and did lots more bike riding in the subsequent years—on my own, with my team, at local events, with local clubs.
Besides discovering that I really don’t enjoy biking more than 50 miles at a time, I found that cyclists are a pretty exclusive bunch. In cycling circles, you are without a doubt judged by your gear, your attire, your bike’s fancy extras and your street cred—especially when you’re a woman. The more advanced the group, the more they seemed to say:
“Are you one of us … or are you a poser?” || KEEP READING...||