This month’s Focus is on Metta Cahill whose friendly smile and easy going, upbeat nature brightens everyone’s day.
I am a Lawrenceville resident, a nurse-midwife by profession, mom to two adult children, and a PFW member for ~ 15 years. The request to write a bio for the bulletin made me recall my first PFW ride. Clad in a T-shirt and shorts, I arrived at the start, the Hopewell Elementary School parking lot, on a late May evening. Up to this time, I had been an occasional recreational rider. Mechanically challenged, I never monkeyed with the gears for fear of screwing them up. Appropriately intimidated by the crowd who looked like they were members of Lance Armstrong’s team, I hesitatingly unloaded my hybrid bicycle from my rack. Attempting to prop my bike up, I used my foot to click my kickstand into position. At that moment, the person from the next vehicle queried me, “You have a kickstand? Do you know how much that weighs?”
Despite the less than welcoming first words, the rest of my ride was wonderful. Ride leader, Pete Staats, came to my rescue. He accompanied me in the rear, and provided a Berlitz course on how/when to change gears, and approach hills. By the end of that season, I was riding in the front of the C+ pack on some hills in the bucolic Vermont countryside – on a red Specialized road bike lent to me by no other than Pete Staats’ teenage son.
Since that time – some things have changed. I have my own red Specialized bike now, and my wardrobe has gotten slightly more sophisticated. I still prefer hilly rides over flatlands. But, sadly, the front of the pack is now a pipedream.
Although I recognize that bike riding has been important to my health and psyche, the best that the club has offered me is friendship. I count many PFW members as my most cherished friends. Besides sharing the road with them, I meet them for meals, movies, and parties; talk to them about books and politics, and delight in meeting their families.
I have expanded my PFW world most recently by becoming a volunteer at the Trenton Boys and Girls Club Bike Exchange. There, I have met club members that ride from different venues or at faster paces.
I would like to thank the club for showing me that nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride shared with a friendly, interesting group. Now if only I could find a similar thrill in either cleaning or repairing my bicycle………….