The first weekend in May, about 2002, I was spending the weekend with my sister in Ct to try to find a better setting for my mother who had dementia. In the midst of this heaviness, there was an announcement on WCBS about the Five Boro Bike New York Tour.I had a physical yearning in my chest to be there.
After I rediscovered tandem cycling in 2000 at the Sports for Health program in PA, an offshoot of Ski for Light, I knew I had to have more of this. With some reservation on the part of the membership person, I joined a local bicycle club (Suffolk Bike Riders Association). I met some wonderful people to captain my tandem. Since I heard the WCBS announcement, whenever I’d mention wanting to ride in the Bike NY event, no one was interested, saying it’s something to do once, and they’d already done it. Not to mention the logistics of getting a tandem into New York City!
At two of the Sports for Health summer programs, I met Artie and Susan Elefant. I got to know Artie’s quirky sense of humor and Susan’s kindness. This year, when Mark called to ask if I wanted to ride with In Tandem in the TD Bike New York Five Boro Tour, did I need to ponder? My husband and I went into Central Park the Sunday before Bike NY and, while he had prime people watching, I met and rode with my captain, Li Yu.
We got to know each other and become familiar with what worked for us as a team. People who had ridden in the five Boro Tour had told me there was a lot of stop-starting, so, expecting this, I was pleased with how little there was. Li is a very considerate captain, telling me where we were as we passed and, (almost as important) letting me know what snacks were available.
During the ride, as we passed the musicians and the helpers alerting us of curves, potholes, etc., I smiled and waved. I felt so much joy inside; it just had to come out. I had once thought, “If I could just ride in the Five Boro once in my life…” Now, that’s changed to, “Got to do that again!”