Hmmm. Where to start? First cycling memories – Scott had a purple stingray 5 speed (pretty sure it was a banana seat with handle bar tassels). He was going downhill from the library FAST, hit a pot hole, went over the handle bars and had the wind knocked out of him. Worse yet, after the crash the bike “literally fell from the sky” and landed on him. According to Scott, “It sucked. It was a wicked bike though”.
|Wait a second, nice frame, but what is he wearing??
Me? I remember riding my Schwinn around my family’s two car garage (as the youngest child I had to find ways to occupy my time on my own). My next memory was learning to ride with no training wheels and smashing my VahJayJay on the bar. “Ouch”. With those first fond memories, it’s kind of amazing I even own a bike today!
|Roxanne looking good!
Fast forward 20-some years later, February 12, 2001, Scott and I have been dating for a few years and we make our first major purchase together. Nope – not a car. Nope – not a house. We bought bikes. I had never ridden a road bike before. I don’t even think I knew what a road bike was. I had a 7,000lb commuter bike that I occasionally rode on the lake front. Yet, my boyfriend was talking me in to buying a custom frame….true love = $$$. For the next 10 years we rode our bikes sometimes together, but often separately. I did a few triathlons and Scott did some ambitious rides on his own including a solitary century. A big ride for me was riding the path up to Botanic Gardens. There were seasons where I rode my bike as few as four times.
|true love = $$$
Somewhere in there I met Dean through the Lakeview YMCA. It was back in the day when the classes were held in the basement, and often candles were the illumination of choice by the instructors. Dean was a “hard core” spin participant. You could tell by his coordinated outfits he was a serious cyclist. And you could tell from his commentary he was truly an introvert.
In the past couple of years, during their “hard core lifting sessions” at the Y, Dean had mentioned to Scott several times that he should come ride with the group. This past May, Scott had mentioned he was going to go for a ride with Dean and his group. I was planning to go for a solitary ride – that’s what I’m used to. Scott suggested I come along. I decided I would just go and see what happened. We waited at Ravenswood and Bryn Mawr. It was my second ride of the season. Turns out it was a “special ride” on Memorial Day – 67 miles to Old School – my longest ride ever, and it was hot as balls. I was scared to death! I think it was adrenaline that got me through it.
The MS Ride was just an amazing couple of days. We were not yet “official” Monkeys and had started off the first day…suddenly we hear a chorus of “Rooooxxannnne” and are literally scooped up by the team.
|Rox and Scott – not “official” yet
I was totally hooked after that first ride and started doing the Girls Rides as soon as I could. Those rides were such a blast and everyone was so supportive. I vividly remember Vanessa encouraging me to get in the rotating pace line and doing it for the first time. It was SO AWESOME!
I have ridden along Greenbay and Sheridan on my own enough times to see groups of riders go flying past me. Every time, I get that rush of excitement – the same one I get at the Air and Water Show when the fast jets whiz past. Wowwww! That is so AWESOME!
From boat ramps to keg stands – the MS Ride, weekly rides, rainy rides, flat tires, crazy parties, Harmon Hundred, Northshore Century, Apple Cider Donut Ride, Cross Races, safety clinic, VQ, pushing up that hill, pulling at the front, feeling the groove of that pace line, getting dropped, just barely hanging on, and getting a push……the people we’ve met, the enthusiasm of each and every Monkey – we’ve created some amazing memories and friendships in these last 10 months. We are proud to be part of THAT group that whizzes past with a spirit of inclusiveness, support, diversity, safety and FUN!
We are proud and thankful Monkeys! XOXOX
p.s. – couldn’t resist posting this one from the 3 Floyds ride!