Our Focus this month is on member Mary Foley who is quickly setting the pace for miles logged in our club.
The Princeton Free Wheelers has changed my life! After a chronic running injury left me searching for an alternate cardio activity, I decided to try cycling. I started by riding alone, doing loops around Mercer County Park. This became tedious very quickly, so in the Spring of 2007, I decided to join the PFW. The group rides helped me to become comfortable riding on the roads and the ride leaders were valuable resources for learning and encouragement. Last year, when the gas prices skyrocketed to over $4/gal, I started cycling to group rides, rather than driving to them. Since I live in New Egypt, and most of the group rides start 15-20 miles from me, I quickly accumulated mega-miles. My total riding miles by the end of2008 was 10,342.
In February of this year, I was the victim of downsizing. This was devastating news for me and cycling with the Free Wheelers became very therapeutic, while I searched for a new direction in my life. Now I am back in school, at Mercer Community College, enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. Recently, I started leading rides, and this new role is also very fulfilling.
Since I am not commuting to work every day, my plan to cycle more miles than I drive in 2009 should be easily attainable. On July 4th, I reached 10,000 miles at the end of Ken Leon’s Rock Star ride. With another 6 months left, I might just be able to double my 2008 riding miles.
As you can see, the PFW has significantly improved my life. Riding with the club helped me to overcome a chronic injury and also helped me through a very difficult period when I lost my job after 26 years. The club rides that I participate in daily have provided me with a new circle of friends that I will cherish for a lifetime.