Driving and Biking in the Big City

Tour de Pink training begins

leave a comment »

This week, I pulled myself out of Big Johnny’s recliner and from my 75-degree perch in front of the big screen television to hit the bike trails in support of breast cancer research, patients and survivors. My team captain at Baylor College of Medicine reminded me that I only have about five weeks until the Tour de Pink on September 16 at Prairie View A&M University, just outside of Houston.  I have done this ride every year since its inception in support of girlfriends, tennis partners, relatives and all the women I know who have faced breast cancer. I also do it in support of the many docs and researchers I’ve met at BCM who work hard every day and are so dedicated to finding a cure.

Denise and Laura at finish line

I typically sign up to do about 60 miles but am not really great at long distance cycling. To do this with some semblance of dignity, I must bump my exercise routine up. I should double what I’ve been doing this long hot summer. My first step this week has been to bike most days. In this heat, that’s easier to write than it is to do.  I have done five- and 10-mile routes and then paused on Wednesday for swimming. It has been grueling and painful every leg of the way. I have felt tired at work all week but slept like a baby at night.

The Tour de Pink is a family affair for me because different members of my family have ridden with me or supported my unit as my personal sag wagon. Laura and I crossed the finish line together one year. Trav snoozed in his truck, took pictures and brought us water all along the way. This year, Big Johnny is riding with me and has trained with me every day this week. This weekend we need to bump up and try a 20-mile ride. It will be a killer. We are definitely recreational riders, so don’t think we will push too hard. If we get exhausted, we will stop at La Madeleine for breakfast or Sonic for a Route 44.  I started this ride in the days before Streak and before I became more of an avid biker. I used a purple hybrid those days. Then, one year the hybrid fell apart on the day before the race, and I used Blue Streak, my cruiser with mountain bike wheels and a big basket. I was quite comfy for that race but definitely brought up the end of the line.

Nell in uniform in Hyde Park

Streak is actually a legacy gift from John’s mom, Nell, to whom I originally dedicated my breast cancer advocacy.  Nell died at age 89 just a few years ago but after first surviving a tough Texas childhood, World War II as one of the few women officers and life as a single mom in the “Father Knows Best” era.  She not only lived a full life after surviving breast cancer but she walked normally after a stroke, survived Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, just to name a few.

In the next few weeks I will need to take Streak to the cute guys at Bike Barn and get him all oiled up and sleek before the ride. This year, I have the feeling I will need all the help I can get.


Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

August 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: