She had now been away from racing for a year and spring was on its way. Kate continued to go to the meetings and started to understand that her pride had been getting in the way of her moving on emotionally.
After one of the LGSC meetings, she talked to the community center director, Sally Turner, and she loved the idea of a learn to ride bike program for the kids. She had a list of kids from the local shelters that she would invite. Kate finally felt that she could offer something of herself to the kids, but it made her sad to think that she would only be able to talk about her racing as a has been.
Betty trained all winter for a race in March. She didn’t want to get Kate off track from her process but had invited her to help out at the race with tracking the progress of the riders. She knew that she was taking a chance with Kate’s feelings, but it was good for Kate to get away and see everyone again. She found out how much the other racers missed her and showed her that she wasn’t as far out of the racing world as she thought.
Brandon had been spending more time with Kate riding at the park and on day trips. She was feeling better about riding with him and was finding that riding for leisure had its own element of fun.
“So, did they decide on a date for the event?” “Yes, April 19th. Just a couple of weeks away!” “I’m so glad that you chose to do it Kate. I think it will help you to give back and see that you have a lot to give. I’m excited to help out.” “I’m struggling with the fact that I can still give of myself with riding, when I’m not an active part of it.” “Well, you helped out at Betty’s race last month,” Brandon replied. “That’s different, but it made me feel a lot better about moving on. They have all been very supportive of me and have really helped out with the event.”
On the day of the event the weather was perfect. Brandon rode with her to the community center. They had gotten twenty bikes from her bike sponsor for the event, and Sally had a list of the twenty lucky kids who would get to ride them. When they arrived at the center, there was an area filled with balloons and carnival games. A big colorful sign with Learn to Ride printed on it was attached to a large balloon arch serving as a gateway to the event area. They walked through the area in awe of what they were able to do for the kids. By the main door of the community center, there was a matching sign on a table with her bike sponsors logo on it and listed her name too.
“See Kate,” Brandon said, pointing at the sign, “they still know who you are.”
Kate smiled as Brandon gave her a hug. It was great to see all of this come together.
“Kate,” Sally said as walked up to her with a clip board, “things are right on schedule. So glad that you are here.” “Everything looks great Sally. So much grander than I could have ever imagined.” “Well, with the contributions of the riding association and the extra energy and strength of the volunteers, we are able to do these great things. I think the kids will really love it.” “I wish we had more bikes,” Kate said, “look at all of the kids.” “Well, they are here for the games and treats. The ones chosen for the Learn to Ride program will be the special ones this time. We’ll just have to do it again to be able to let others experience that part.”
Kate was just overwhelmed by the response to her idea for this program. She wondered if it would have turned out any different if she was still able to race.