My name is Suzi Tobias. I grew-up riding bikes and remember with great fondness a sporty yellow 3-speed that I got for my 9th birthday and the bright red 10-speed that I rode as a teenager. Back then, the only cycling challenge I faced was how to keep-up with my older brother whenever we rode anywhere together. I suppose we can consider those days my first foray into aerobic threshold training.
I purchased my first racing bike 25+ years ago and have been riding pretty seriously ever since. I am passionate about cycling.
Through riding, I have explored many places, maintained my physical fitness, challenged myself to endure, to get stronger, faster, and also made some of the best friends I will ever have.
Last summer I took-on the challenge of riding from Port Huron to Mackinac as a personal tribute to my best friend, Aileen O’Brien Graef, who lost her battle to breast cancer. For me, it was a way to deal with my grief.
During those early training rides, the event began to take on a life of its own. I met people who were genuinely interested in what I was doing. They would ask questions about how they could start riding, where to get a bike, what it’s like to ride such a long way, or share stories about how their lives have been impacted by cancer.
That’s when I realized there was something much larger to the endeavor. My bike had become a vehicle through which I could raise awareness of the importance of healthy life choices and physical fitness in reducing cancer risk, make prevention a part of the cancer conversation, and broadcast the message of Less Cancer. It is a very important dialogue if we ever hope to put an end to the disease.
For 2014, I plan to keep the conversation on prevention going as long as my legs can pedal.