COMMERCE - This summer a local organization is offering a chance to get fit and make friends at the same time.
“I came from Dahlonega, Georgia, and cycling is something I’ve been doing for several years now…” said Greer. “When I got here, we had two bike stands and two bikes, but not really a bike program, and I was like, 'ok'. There’s lots of cycling around here, but it’s not really something that’s [caught on] here. I mean, we’ve got kids riding around campus, but it’s not really cycling. It just made sense. I put it on the docket this past year, and said, ‘Let’s see what type of interest we can get.’ And the easiest way to get interest is saying, ‘Hey, if anybody wants to join me we’ve got a ride going on.’”
The bike rides started the first week of June and are now scheduled for once a week through the summer with the possibility of continuing through the fall if enough interest is piqued.
“Right now we’re just doing Tuesday afternoons at 6…”, commented Greer. “But if there continues to be an interest, we’ll continue to look at ways we can offer these things.”
The course that the Commerce cyclists go on is about 20 miles long. They start out at Outdoor Adventure, ride through downtown, head out on FM 71 towards Cooper Lake State Park for about 7 miles, hit FM 3134, and the last 5 miles of the ride are on Highway 11. Here is a link to the map of their ride.
These rides are extremely friendly. Prospective riders can join the group at any point on the course, and leave at anytime as well.
Attendees of the group ride claim that there are quite a lot of benefits to riding with other people. One cyclist, Garrett Frosch, shared his view.
“Well, you know there’s the communication aspect. I’ve met several different people throughout the campus and throughout the community that I never would have met otherwise. It’s pretty awesome to get to know new people and get to know their backgrounds and their different experiences.”
There are also health benefits to cycling. Greer claims cycling has had a huge impact on his life.
“Well, to be quite frank, bike riding probably saved my life. I had a heart attack two years ago. I worked a full day at an afterschool program, dropped my truck off, and went on about a 12-mile ride.”
“During the 12-mile ride I ended up getting off the bike three times to walk it, and that just wasn’t normal. I went home and took two aspirin and next morning, I got up and I knew something wasn’t right. I went in (to the doctor’s) and I’d already had the heart attack. If I hadn’t been in the physical condition I was in, it could have been a widow maker.”
Those are the benefits to cycling; but what about the cost?
“It’s like anything else. The faster, the lighter and the better, the more expensive. There are several programs with good, used bikes. But if you start with last year’s model or the year before, those prices start to go down,” said Greer. “And one of the things I’m advocating for at the college is trying to get some good quality rental bikes that people can try out and see the difference between good quality and cheap bikes.”
Here's a link to a website that sells bicycles of all kinds.
So far the group rides have received rave reviews from all who have attended, and all would encourage anyone who is interested to attend. But for Roger Greer, it’s not just about getting you to come to his activities. It’s about impacting and changing your life.
“I would just encourage (anyone) to get outdoors, whether that’s biking or playing our disc golf or coming to the rock wall and climbing some; getting outside and getting active and doing things. I’m not one to spend a whole lot of time inside, I’ll find ways to get outside.”
If you’re interested in joining Roger and the rest of the Commerce Cyclists, contact Roger or Outdoor Adventure at 903-886-5849 or by emailing Roger at Roger.Greer@tamuc.edu.