Why We Ride Bikes – Jo’s Story

Posted by Steve Prudente on May 16, 2016

Bike Month is May!  Please join us in our ongoing celebration as we share some cycling stories from our employees all month long.  If you missed them, check out parts one, twothree, and four.

Jo Cordonhill

Cyclist – Team Leader

 

What is your favorite cycling memory?
The first bike tour I went on was with a large group, in Wisconsin.  One day I was riding with just two other people, Steve and Kevin, and there was rain in the forecast.  Somehow we got off the planned route and got pretty far behind the rest of the group.  It started raining in the afternoon, but we weren’t too concerned.  It was warm and the rain was pretty light.

We continued on relaxedly, telling childhood stories, and gradually the rain started to pick up.  We heard thunder rumbling in the distance.  Before long it was pouring, and the thunder and lightning clashed loudly above our heads.  We were in a fairly open area, so as we approached a highway intersection with an overpass, we pulled to the side of the road and waited on a very small shoulder, barely out of the way of the cars that zoomed past.

Suddenly, there was a flash of light immediately followed by the loudest clap of thunder I’ve ever heard, so strong it reverberated in my chest.  With all of the noise of the cars and the rain and the thunder, I could have sworn I heard rock crumbling, and for a moment convinced myself that the overpass was collapsing!  Of course, it wasn’t, but we still didn’t feel very safe here.  We saw a gas station off in the distance and decided to chance the ride to it – it wasn’t too far.

As we pulled in, we were tired, soaked and chilled to the bone.  The gas station was air conditioned so it didn’t offer much solace, so we waited under the shelter and drank some hot coffee Steve bought us.  When the rain had slowed and the storm retreated, we decided to push on, though it was growing dark.

We came to a town, and since it was past dinner time and we were starving, we stopped in a bar (the only place open) and ordered the only semi-substantial food on the menu – frozen pizza.  We warmed up and dried off in the bar, and when we went back to our bikes to start riding again, it had stopped raining.

It was after 10pm, and we only had a few more miles to go til we reached the group camping spot.  The traffic on the roads had died down and it was a peaceful night.  The moon was obscured, and all we had were a couple bike lights.  We quietly biked by fields and fields full of fireflies, who guided our way.  The campsite was dark and most people were asleep when we pulled in, but someone had left some soup out for us.  We pulled out our sleeping bags and passed out, not even bothering to set up tents since there was a shelter at the park.  That was one of my scariest and hardest but also most beautiful and exhilarating days on a bike.

What’s your least favorite or most unexpected cycling memory?
The day our trike died on me while I was servicing Penn 😛

How often do you choose to ride a bike and why?
Well obviously, I bike for work most days.  I also bike TO work almost every day, because it is much cheaper and usually much faster than public transit.  On the weekends, I usually bike wherever I need to go, and sometimes I even go on long bike rides as a way of being outside and getting exercise.

Why did you want to work for Wash Cycle Laundry?

When I applied to be a cyclist, I had just finished a nearly 1000 mile solo bike tour, which was a blast!  The idea of being on a bike every day and GETTING PAID to do so was very appealing.  Plus I appreciated the company’s environmentally and socially responsible mission.

What’s your earliest bike riding memory?
My dad bought me a trail-along bike for my 4th birthday along with a purple bell.  I remember riding behind him all around the city I grew up in (Madison, Wisconsin).  Sometimes, when we were going up a hill that wasn’t too big, my dad would say, “Ok, Jo, I’m gonna stop pedaling!  It’s all you!” and I would pump my little legs as hard as possible while he cheered me on.

Finally, what would you say to convince someone to ride a bike?
“Let’s go on a ride together!”  And then I would take them on an easy ride, without too many hills or trolley tracks or busy streets.

 


STAY CONNECTED to our blog throughout May for more inspiring stories from our employees, and receive 15% off your first service during Bike Month by using the code “BIKEMONTH2016” at checkout:

Celebrate Bike Month with 15% off Your First Service! Use code BIKEMONTH2016 at checkout