Back on a bike for Miles to End Polio

Alison Randall and her boyfriend, Jerry, during at a training ride for El Tour de Tucson.

Alison Randall and her boyfriend, Jerry, during a training ride for El Tour de Tucson.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. There’s a whole new language: “Rolling, stopping, hole, car back.”
  3. Bananas are your friend.

I’m sure I will be able to add more things to this list as my training continues. Friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @Alirandall

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.

3 thoughts on “Back on a bike for Miles to End Polio

  1. So glad you are back to biking. I also love to ride my bike. We camp in the beautiful bluffs of S.E. Minnesota and I enjoyed so much the bike trail. I was riding the trail until, I too, took a spill on my bike last summer. I had purchased a tricycle a few years ago because I began to feel a little unsafe on my two wheeler. I am a polio survivor and I will never ever forget the day I came out of barn, at age 8-9, and saw a beautiful bike sitting there. i had no idea who it was for. It wasn’t my birthday in July so it couldn’t be mine. To my surprise, it was mine. With braces on my legs from polio, I bravely sat on that seat and coasted down the hill from the barn. No pedals used, just coasting to get my balance down. The next day I could put my feet on the pedals and progress to a longer coast. By the third night I had it and I have been riding since. At age 66, after the spill last summer on my two wheeler I only ride my 3 wheeler all around my village every where I want to go. I feel safer and the kids stop to let me go by and say “Cool bike” The older folks say, “Where you get that bike? So you go girl. Ride your heart away. Also, Thanks for earning funds to help rid the threat of Polio. I wear my “End Polio Now” pin every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Back on a bike for Miles to End Polio | Warsaw Rotary , Club 3393, District 6540

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