We are the Tierney’s, Paul and Yvonne. We are both from Galway, Ireland. We moved to Chicago for a year in February 1998 and have yet to go home.
We don’t have any cool bike stories like the rest of the SOTW, so we will fast forward to how and when we became Spidermonkeys.
We knew Dean through our gym, the YMCA. We were also friends with the Bowens (Scott and Rox). We did the MS ride with the Lakeview YMCA team back in 2010 along with Kyle, Scott and Rox. The Bowens ditched us to ride with the Spidermonkeys, but I can’t say I blame them; we were on our commuter bikes after all. That’s right; we did 75 miles on day 1 of the ride on our commuter bikes!! Thank you I know that’s impressive. I remember cursing every person that passed me on a road bike. After that ride we realized we needed road bikes. The very next day or week we paid a visit to Get a Grip, where Ken fitted us for two new Scott Road bikes.
Before we continue the story, we need to remind you again that we have no experience whatsoever with riding or bikes or any of that stuff. …So now that we had these expensive bikes we needed to ride them. We showed up to our first group ride at Element not knowing anyone except Dean. Dean was kind enough to point out to the group that we made a horrible rookie mistake – our tires were flat! Oops! But aside from feeling completely embarrassed and stupid, we learned never take out the bikes without first putting air in the tires – So thank you Dean!
We did a few more group rides, the majority of them ended in pouring rain. We also did that North Shore Century that one year where it rained the whole time. Paul did the whole ride with his bike shorts on backwards!!! We were starting to feel like someone was trying to tell us something! But with attending clinics at GAG, and listening to everything that people on the team told us along with the way, we were getting the hang of it. Still PLENTY to learn but getting better with each ride. Dean invited us as special guests to the end of year bash in 2011, and we officially joined the team in 2012.
We decided to go to spring training in Vegas in 2012 to get to know other team mates. Again remember how little we know about riding, well we did the North Shore Century and didn’t ride again until Vegas. We did it though and learned a ton. I didn’t even know what a switch back was let alone ride my bike on one. We had a blast. Everyone on the team was so supportive, encouraging and helped us along the rides. We decided to sign up for VQ to train in the off season. We went to Vegas again this year and we surprised ourselves how much stronger we were.
We really are so happy to be a part of such a great team. The great friends we have made and the new friends we make each and every time we get together with the Spidermonkeys. This team is more than just a team; it’s like a big family. We didn’t have any family in Chicago until we joined the Spidermonkeys. We can’t wait to ride in 2013!!