The Cycle of Life

A story by Karen Clark

It’s a story as old as time. Your parents buy you a bike for your 5th birthday and you ride that thing ALL summer long until the treads are bare. As you age and grow, so do your bikes. Somewhere around age 12 you probably graduate to a ten-speed. But then you get to high school and bike riding isn’t cool…or you go off to college and can’t bring your bike with you.

My bike riding hiatus lasted about 25 years. Sure, there were the occasional times when I rode on a borrowed bike…on rides that were too long…on saddles that were too uncomfortable…with mental scars that lasted years.

In 2013, as the mom of growing kids with bikes of their own, my husband asked if I wanted a bike too. At the time, when they went off to ride, I sat down to knit and catch-up on my weekly t.v. shows. The thought of getting a bike and giving up some “me time” sounded daunting, and my practical side assumed it would end up being a waste of money. Alas I compromised and agreed to purchase a hybrid Schwinn at Target. Why hadn’t someone told me you can change saddle sizes before? My life was about to change for good!

It wasn’t too long…three months to be exact…before I decided I wanted a road cycle. By the following Spring I was leading a beginner women’s ride out of Marty’s in Morristown. In July 2014 Joy and I started coaching the first Couch to Breve Fondo class for women. That September I completed the Medio course (62 miles) of Gran Fondo NJ. In March 2015 I started time trial racing, continuing to lead women’s rides and teach the C2BF class.

Additionally, my family and I now volunteer at several cycling events. In fact, my daughter is a fixture at both the Gran Fondo packet pick-up and Marty’s Rep Night events to the point where she doesn’t even want us around when she’s “working”. Our life with bikes has changed significantly since 2013 and we enjoy being involved in both the competitive and recreational cycling communities.

The fact of the matter is…you should always enjoy riding for your own reasons. You can be involved with group rides or you might prefer to go out solo. Some cyclists like to log every mile and segment on Strava. Some like to take their cruiser to the farmer’s market. Some people like to ride for exercise. Some people like to ride for a change of scenery from their 9 to 5 job.

No matter what your reason or motivation, get out there and ride…and let cycling change your life…like it has mine!

If you have a story you’d like to share with the Bike and Walk Morristown community, email us at

1 Comment

  1. Casey Clark Reply

    Wow I feel it was just yesterday we went to get your bike now you upgraded to new bikes, wheels, and saddles!You are now one of the best cyclists I will probably know (Like Jens voigt).No one could ever replace your cheerful and confident momentum to all of us!

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