In honor of National Bike Month, we’re spotlighting how bicycles are tools for personal empowerment, social justice and community development in our with our “Where the Ride Takes Us” web series. Today’s post comes from Mary Brown, one of the bicyclists featured in Ride in Living Color, who’s still rolling at age 83.
My journey with cycling has taken me farther than I ever imaged.
Starting at age fifty, I chose to start exercising — doing some yoga and some running. It didn’t take long to see some improvement in my mental and physical health. I was coping with life better, not as depressed and increased self-esteem to name a few.
Retiring at 65 and experiencing some joint pain, I added cycling to my regiment. Little did I know that at age 69 I would be one of a team of four doing Race Across America, riding from Irvine, Calif. to Savannah, Ga., with three other seniors. This was my greatest cycling experience. The benefits were many — mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Then at 81 in 2011, doing Tour de Cure ride for diabetes, I fell and broke my leg. This was my worse experience. I had always been able to get up from a fall and continue my ride. The recovery went well physically. Mentally, fear has been a very present force, slowly I am beginning to ride again and enjoying my bike.
Attitude determines your altitude — with determination, dedication and devotion each ride is a joy.
Cycling is a wonderful way to meet new people, see the world and support other.
Hear more stories like Mary’s in Ride in Living Color.
Photo by Nikkie Whalen / Ride In Living Color
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.