How pace lining helps the ALS community support one another I contend that most people diagnosed with physically debilitating illnesses later in life previously had a favorite activity that consumed much of their time. Cycling was that for me. My cycling life ended nine years ago, and even then, I reluctantly stopped because of my inability to unlock my feet from the pedals.
Freewheeling alone on some country road, doing club rides in the evenings, riding to another city at the crack of dawn, and exploring new routes in and out of state were all so satisfying.
I also had my time as a licensed racer back in the late 1980s and early ’90s. From there, I began doing more touring and other challenging rides, especially with much younger and stronger riders. Road races and time trials were my favorites, and I found more of those opportunities in the National Senior Games . I won eight gold medals and two silver ones in those competitions.
A 2,000-mile ride across six states; conquering the highest point east of the Mississippi River, Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, three times; speeding down the Blue Ridge Mountains at nearly 60 miles per hour; taking a few falls along the way; and enjoying the freedom and independence of being on my bike — well, the joy I felt isn’t easy to explain.
But out of all of the above, one of my most pleasant ways to ride was in a pace line. Being out on a lonely road with […]