Two-Wheeled Transformation in the Queen City

If anyone had told me two years ago that I would bike over 26 miles in one ride, I would laugh and say, “Not me!”

I’ve been working over the last year to restore balance to my life. A year ago I was in the physical and emotional trenches. As I looked in the mirror, I realized I hadn’t been taking care of myself. My mood was suffering due to this fact.

Enter bicycling. My husband, Brian, began biking and wanted me to ride with him. He bought me a bike and signed me up for Charlotte’s CyclingSavvy class. After taking CyclingSavvy, I rode in my neighborhood and once with the Sunday Slow Riders.

But I have to be honest: It was hard, and I had doubts. I had a hard time with anxiety, and felt anxious when going out for groceries or a family get-together. How would I be riding a bike in traffic?

One year went by where I hardly biked at all. I watched my husband make great progress physically. He was meeting new people and making new friends on group bike rides. I wanted that!

In February 2017 I went back to a healthy diet, and got on my bike that very afternoon. After months of not riding, I completed 10.8 miles. I was thrilled!

Always keeping the CyclingSavvy lessons that I learned in my mind, I began to get my confidence back. I started riding whenever I could with the Sunday Slow Riders and on the Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride. I was gaining more endurance.

Before I started bicycling regularly, I would feel tired for no reason. Now I have more energy and sleep better. I no longer feel weak and helpless, and have more self confidence.

I can’t leave out those who helped me get here! For starters, my husband, Brian Gryder. Next, CyclingSavvy Instructor Pamela Murray. Finally, all the people I meet at each outing. What a wonderful group to ride with. We take care of each other.

With a huge THANK YOU to ALL the bike riders! I feel a rise in my self-esteem, a positive change in my attitude, and a better outlook on my life.

social bike rides

Penni Smith Gryder with arms around Brian Gryder, enjoying a beautiful day with Sunday Slow Riders in Charlotte, NC

3 replies
  1. ajrolo19
    ajrolo19 says:

    It was great riding with you, Penni! Glad biking has had such a positive effect on your life! Keep pedaling, stay savvy! -A (right of you in the photo ;) )


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