Current Member in Focus
FEBRUARY 2018 MEMBER IN FOCUS: DAVID SPEIS
I never really thought I’d be a cyclist. Ten years ago, my vision of athletic activity during my retirement years was playing senior’s baseball, skiing and road running. But as the legs became less and less responsive to continual pavement pounding, I bought a bike. Then I met Metta Cahill, who convinced me to do a fun ride. Before I knew it, I was doing Sunday hill rides with Bob Parsons and the obvious next step was to join PFW.
I’ve always been an outdoor person, so convincing me to spend 3 - 4 hours outdoors with like-minded cyclists on a beautiful day in the country was not a stretch. But the part that I’ve come to enjoy the most is the camaraderie and social interaction. I have made a ton of new friends, who I really enjoy being with both on and off the bike. Many a world problem has been resolved on those rides.
Although I’ve only been a PFW member for a relatively short time, I found myself regularly taking advantage of club activities and meeting more new people. Among them is re-connecting with Ira (and listening to his jokes - again), who I’ve known since I was six, but had not seen in over 45 years!
2017 was my first full year of retirement. Cycling has now become my number one athletic activity. So much so that it’s cut into the time I had reserved for fishing, bird watching, surfing and home brewing.
Just about everyone I’ve met has been involved in making the club better and stronger. I just couldn’t continue to benefit from everyone’s efforts without stepping up to give something back. That became the impetus behind joining the PFW Board and contributing to the club’s well-being. My hope is that I’ll continue participating and riding as long as I can still find my way home.
2017-06 MEMBER IN FOCUS: CHRIS COOK
He’s easy to spot in a crowd. Just look for the redhead with lightning bolt leggings. “I’m sick of looking at black, black, black!” he’ll say.
Chris started riding when he was 5 years old, in the 1970s, back when banana seats were the thing every kid had to have. He and his parents rode with the Outdoor Club of South Jersey until he joined the Freewheelers in the 1980s. In his A-level days, he led the legendary Son of Crosswicks rides from Bordentown. Should anyone dare suggest that so-and-so has been in the club forever, Chris will waste no time correcting the record.
Two of Chris’ five bikes are for the trails. The dualie is called Tigger, and if you’re lucky you’ll see him catch some air. He rides in the woods during the winter, preferably when there’s a good crust of snow on the ground. If you hear him shout, “Yee-HAAA!” you know he just hit something that nearly sent him sideways.
On the road, if he’s in the hills, you’ll see him on his carbon Giant, and he’ll suggest that, for a fee, he’ll carry your leftovers home in his handlebar pack. He charges per pound per mile; so far, nobody has taken him up on his offer. On the flat roads, he’ll be on his titanium Feather, and you’ll be hard-pressed to keep up with him if he’s had chocolate milk at the rest stop.
As a leader, Chris might not always know where he’s headed, but he always knows where he is. He might not remember the name of every road he’s been on, but his knowledge of local history is deep, and there will be a quiz.
These days you can find Chris leading B rides from Allentown. If you follow him, you won’t soon forget it.
(written by Sue Moser and Laura Lynch from an interview with Chris Cook)