Actually, it seems, a random series of events has gotten me where I am with cycling.
Almost three years ago Paulette rode past my window, enjoying being on her bike and having fun. It set me wondering if cycling might be the answer to my concerns about losing balance, muscle mass and core strength. After due pondering, I got a Walmart Schwinn to try. Could I ride a bike? Would I ride a bike?
For the first week or so I had to drive my bike to an empty parking lot because I couldn't even get on the step-through frame without standing on a curb. Surprisingly, I didn't lose my balance, I didn't fall. I wasn't graceful and I had NO idea what to do with all the gears, but I could ride a bike. And it was FUN!!!
I announced my new purchase on Ravelry - a social networking site for people interested in fiber arts and Catherine invited me to join the Casual Cyclists group (there's a group for everything on Ravelry). In that group I found lots of information, encouragement and advice. Which led to my first "good" bike.
Buying that bike, a Trek 7300 WSD, led me to my local bike shop (LBS) and Chris, my bike guy. Janice led me to Daily Mile where I learned to track my rides and that led me to some new friends and advisors. The more experienced riders helped me figure out technical details and they became my biggest cheerleaders. Ken sent me contact information for the local bike club and insisted that I call them. The bike club gave me the assistance and support I needed to expand my horizons and take on longer rides. Dan and Susan became my riding companions.
Just a few months after buying my Miss Marple bike, I found out about WomanTours. I drooled over their website for hours, and kept going back to the page about the Southern Tier. I told my knitting friends about it and Barbara told me to put down the deposit. So I did. I figured the deposit would be a good motivator, if nothing else. From that point on, ALL my decisions about cycling were made with the tour in mind.
A little serendipity, a lot of support from a lot of people...... a LOT Of support......and here I am. Ready to go, scared to go, more excited than a 5 year old on Christmas Eve.