Why I’m a Rose Bandit
My membership into the Rose Bandits was a gift, literally a Christmas present from my loving husband wrapped in a card that said “Welcome to Rose Bandits.” I didn’t realize what a thoughtful present this team membership would end up being – I thought I was just getting a cool looking jersey and bibs.
Cycling can be a very selfish, expensive obsession. Out riding on a Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. on my carbon fiber bike and racing wheels, I pass by homeless people in downtown lined up at the soup kitchen and working people at bus stops heading off to their hourly jobs, and I feel selfish and a little guilty.
Being a Rose Bandit to me is a remedy to self-centeredness, because you are more a part of a community that aims to give back, empower and change the world for the better. I feel invested in women’s cycling issues and want to work for change and equality. The friends I’ve made in the Rose Bandits motivate me daily –by inviting me to come ride with them, meeting for coffee, and inspiring me by their racing performance. I love being a Rose Bandit because it both is a way to become a better rider on the bike and a better person.
At first it felt a little awkward, riding with roses sticking out of my backpack, and a little overwhelming thinking about breast cancer patients and all the adversity they faced.
But delivering the roses was an inspirational experience. It left me feeling more connected to the other Rose Bandits and wanting to do more somehow.
Every time I go riding with the Rose Bandits, I know I’m becoming a better a rider. I still haven’t learned to jump a curb the way Duffy can, but I have definitely gotten some better handling skills. This past spring, the Rose Bandits even hosted a clinic led by a professional rider. Just meeting Kristen La Sasso was a great opportunity, but getting to ride with her, talk to her, watch her race, and see what a humble, amazing person she is was a long-term memory kind of experience. She represents what being a Rose Bandit means on and off the bike.
Being a Rose Bandit is a gift. It’s being part of something bigger and more meaningful than myself.
Tags: cycling, Florida cycling, miami cycling, pink, Rose Bandit, Rose Bandit Team, rose bandits, Susan G Komen Miami Fort Lauderdale Affiliate, women's cycling