Soul Cyclists: Different Motivations, Common Purpose

Gene Clarke is a frequent commenter on Commute by Bike, known here as “Gene @ BU.” Gene sent me this story about a team of cyclists in Binghamton, New York.

I would like to recognize my cycling friends, the Lourdes Hospital Mission in Motion Women's Cycling Team. Yes, they are the Lycra clad weekend warrior types who are on a mission to have fun and generate awareness about breast cancer while raising money for the Lourdes Mobile Mammography program, which helps women get breast cancer screenings.

Mobile mammography program receives donation
Screenshot: YNN Binghamton / Oneonta | Click to visit site and see video

On Friday October 13th the team presented a check for $1,500 to Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, NY, reflecting the team’s winnings so far this year. And to top it off, I won a raffle for an autographed Lance Armstrong helmet.

So what would this Team have to do with bike commuting? Well the 30 members that make up the Team may race bikes by weekend but many of them are commuter cyclists during the week.

  • Marsha, the team captain, rides every type of bike made, and her basement is a well equipped bike shop.
  • Jackie commutes daily to work and passes me out on my way to work at least twice per week. Jackie's husband commutes too when he doesn't have to drop off the kids at pre-school. Tami is a cancer survivor, currently celebrating her 12th cancer-free year!
  • Tami has been mountain biking for 10 years and racing road and mountain for the last four years.
  • Shelley races on this team to honor the memory of her best friend, Susan, who fought a courageous seven-year battle with breast cancer, leaving behind two young children. Shelley has been racing the mountain bike circuit this past summer.
  • Pam works as a Sales Manager and plans to ride a century this year. She loves to ride and feels that participating on this team is a great way to spend her time and support cancer awareness.

Several of the members only ride recreationally and show up on weekends like clockwork to support the Team. Others are serious commuters who only dabble in racing during open race sessions and others train with the team with no intention of racing.

When I try to categorize this group of cyclists all I come up with is 30 different personalities, 30 different health motivations, 30 different cycling experiences, with two common denominators; cancer awareness and the love of bikes.

Perhaps this Team needs a new category and classification. I’ll call them "Soul Cyclists" where their cycling is an external expression of their inner spirit and a window into their hearts. All of us should be this fortunate in our cycling journeys.

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