Focus On Members
Our Member in Focus this month is Eddie Ledner, pictured below with his wife Lois. Eddie was the first leader some new members of the club met and we received numerous comments about how welcoming and helpful he was. (Thank you, Eddie!) Here is his story.
When I started cycling with the Princeton Freewheelers several years ago, I thought to myself that I have found the fountain of youth. I looked at all these old guys still riding and having a great time, I was hooked.
Prior to joining the Freewheelers, I would take my mountain bike out for 10-15 mile routes around East Brunswick where I lived. I also used to ride from my house to work in New Brunswick which was anything other than safe. All these years my wife Lois thought I would be a lot safer riding with a group. As I really enjoyed cycling by myself and thought I would continue doing what I liked, but as fate would have it, that was not to be.
Lois worked for a lawn sprinkler service and one day a gentleman asked if he could stop by and pick up a small tool to do the adjustment himself. When he spoke to my wife he told her what days he could pick it up because he cycled with a group on the other days. So she twisted my arm and had me get in touch with the Freewheelers. I thought I would give it a try, if nothing else, I could always say I tried it. Lois told me the person who wanted that tool was tall, had a beard and spoke with an accent.
I arrived at Etra early and there was only one other car in the lot with a bike next to it. I walked over to introduce myself, sure enough he matched her description. I said, “I believe you know my wife!” He stood up straight and replied in a huff, “I don’t talk to strange women!!”
Well the rest is history, Chaim Schrieber became my mentor and close friend.
I marvel at team Social Security. All of us have some ailments but we all persevere and look out for each other. We are ages 60’s to mid 80’s but we get on our bikes and ride. I suppose this is what some might call group therapy; talking to others about our lives and our loved ones. That might be what keeps us going. Surely it is not the grunting and groaning, or maybe it is.
I’ve been leading D+ rides since last year and get a great enjoyment helping entry level riders learning the skill set that will keep them safe on the road. Whether it’s passing along shifting techniques, learning how to clip in/out of those new SPD peddles or answering the many questions a new rider might have, I hope to pass along what has been passed on to me by more knowledgeable riders. I’ve held mini classes after the ride to teach the tools and skills on changing a tire and how to lube the chain.
I guess what I’m saying is, I enjoy the camaraderie of the experienced cyclist that seems to have more knowledge to impart and the new cyclist who asks those questions that are taken for granted, such as, “ What do you wear under your riding shorts?” The response usually raises an eyebrow.