By Alison Randall, Rotary staff
Being a part of the Miles to End Polio team has been helping rebuild my confidence in bicycling.
A few years ago, I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, riding to class one morning, when another student cyclist I was passing decided to turn left without warning. I crashed and fell off my bike, but thankfully was not seriously injured. Nevertheless, after that incident, I decided to walk to class. No more biking for me.
Time has gone by, and now many of my friends, including my boyfriend, Jerry, are avid bikers. They go on long rides and discover new places in Chicago. I didn’t want to miss out on the fun, so I purchased a road bike this July. Three weeks later the Miles to End Polio Challenge was announced. What better way to overcome my fear of cycling? Not only will I need to train, but I can also raise money and awareness for a cause that I truly believe in: ending polio.
Since being selected, I’ve gone on several long rides including ones of 47 and 53 miles. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been fun. There is so much to know about biking:
- You need lots of gear: I bought new sunglasses, gloves, shoes, pedals, water bottles, shorts (with padding!), shirts with built in pockets, lights, and a helmet.
- There’s a whole new language: “Rolling, stopping, hole, car back.”
- Bananas are your friend.
Alison Randall is a Regional Grants Officer for Rotary International, managing global and district grants targeting Europe and West Africa. A native of Deerfield, Illinois, she comes from a family of Rotarians including her father and grandfather. Randall is one of six Rotary staff members who will join Rotary General Secretary John Hewko in biking El Tour de Tucson in Arizona in November to raise money for polio eradication. Read posts from other team members, and learn how you can support the team.