This month’s Focus is Lenore Beckley. She is an active rider and currently helping out on The Event staff by organizing rest stops.
The truth is this; my hunger for cycling came from a need to get out of the house.
I chose my ride from the “Freewheel” and computed the time it would take from the 9:00 start time till the time I’d be home. Yes, I’d return before my 16 year old daughter would even be out of bed which was never before 1:00 in the afternoon. I knew my riding talents fell short but my new Schwinn hybrid felt like a Caddy and went over bumps with hardly a jostle. Harri White, Pete Staats, Doug Wurzler, Frank Stanski, and others flew up the hills. I was in awe of their riding abilities and couldn’t comprehend why mine were so seriously lacking.
I signed onto Bruce Kirschner’s trip at St Lawrence U in the Finger Lakes. After riding hills in the Finger Lakes for an entire weekend, I dreamed, I’ll be bounding up the ones in Hopewell on Friday night rides. The first day’s spin was through the wine country. The following day Bruce had plans for 3 of us to meet a couple at the university who would “SAG” our stuff for the 2 day 100 mile tour to Cranberry Lake and back.
Bruce, Bob Kirby and I breezed through the first 25 miles of our journey including a stop for lunch at a country luncheonette for BLT’s. This was biker heaven. A nasty cloud burst threatened to wash out our progress scattering us to find an empty porch or garage. Bob and Brice rode back to retrieve me and we began our ascent to Cranberry Lake Inn. Bob and Bruce clicked in and disappeared. My Schwinn felt more like a ton of concrete than a Caddy. I took long breaks to sob into my soaked bandana. I spotted the Inn up ahead and was done in but victorious.
I was beginning to feel less friendly toward my Schwinn “Caddy” when, the following year, sun and wind beat us up in Chestertown MD. That’s where I met Nancy Martin. I had to admire her gorgeous Trek. I survived my weekend in Kent County, MD and my taste for my hybrid Caddy was souring.
Then, when paging through Bicycling Magazine, my head was turned for a sleek turquoise green Cannondale. The 4 day wait for my new Canny were interminable. Nancy and I planned to ride from Washington Crossing to feel the difference between Canny and Caddy. In seconds I felt like a jack rabbit. We rode all summer east toward the shore and west in the hills of Bucks County. My love for Canny was real.
Many roads have been ridden since then. Now I know that sobbing is for biker sissies and hybrids are for the tow path. The most important thing is that the biker buddies I’ve made through many years of cycling are now “family friends” for life. It’s really true.