How Bicycle Travel Transforms Lives: Julie Malec & Joseph Broom
Julie softens all hearts as she describes her own experience of cycling as a “lifeline of renewal.” The Chicago-based cyclist shares how she sees the world now with new eyes–enriched with more color.
“For me, getting on my bike has always been my happy place. Whether it was riding to swim team as a kid, getting to classes in college, or riding along the lakefront in Chicago- it still gives me that “WHEEEE!” feeling of going down a hill with your legs straight out that we all did as a kid. Since I never enjoyed running, cycling was my way to let my brain air out and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Though no longer logging a couple hundred miles a week as I did in my 20s and 30s, biking always brings me a special joy. After my cancer treatment, my bike was my vehicle to build my energy back. When I was able to complete my riding goal of the Chicago lakefront loop again (only 36 miles!), it was such a joyful experience for me that it still makes me smile today. It also made my love of cycling almost like a lifeline of renewal for me; a lifeline that continues to grow to this day.
The idea for me of a cycling trip to Europe, Italy in particular, brought all my loves together: majestic scenery, fun loving people, fantastic food (I love to cook!), exceptional music and art… just a heavenly adventure!
Cycling with Ciclismo actually gave me a different color palette of life. I know it sounds strange, but the closest I can come to explaining the trip for me is to say that Ciclismo Classico allowed me to see, taste, hear and feel the world around me in 32 bit color, instead of our everyday 8 bit color (thanks to my technology background). I never want to experience a trip without all those colors again!
Joseph recounts a story of love, loss and life. Picking up cycling later in life, he tells a deeply touching and special way that cycling has transformed him.
“I didn’t begin cycling until I was 53 years old. I had been busy raising children and earning a living for most of my adult life. After I came out and met my future husband, Mark, who was a cyclist, he got me into it; and after a whole three months of training, we went on our first European cycling tour together. I loved it. For the first time in my life, I felt like an athlete. Six months later, he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. We didn’t do a lot of cycling that year, but the following year we were able to do another tour together in France. It would be our last.
Following Mark’s death, I had to discover whether cycling was only something Mark and I did together, or whether I loved it for its own sake. Over the course of four cycling trips since his death, I have discovered that I do in fact love it for its own sake – for the fitness, for the feeling of being outdoors, for the purpose the training gives me, and for the love of being in the mountains and seeing things I’d see in no other way. I frankly don’t know what I’d do or who’d I’d be today without it.”
Join Ciclismo Classico on a Bike Tour today!