Seeing the world on two wheels
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–Athens YMCA director Bob Morton tested the waters last Saturday
to see if there was any interest in forming a bicycling club.
With just one article on the front of The Athens Review, 23 riders
showed up at 8 a.m. ready to ride the recently opened Loop 7, starting
at the hospital end.
The riders organized themselves into two groups.
An abbreviated ride for novices was set for a 10-mile distance, led by
Morton’s wife Carol. The second group planned to cover 15 miles on the
The youngest rider was a 10-year-old girl from Seven Points and the
eldest rider was a woman from Athens. Both accomplished their goal of
covering 10 miles on two wheels and a single water bottle.
“Yah, I’ll do it again,” said Barbara Dale, whose husband drove a sag
wagon behind his 72-year-old wife, just in case. “I want to get where I
can enjoy it,” she added.
“Now, we’ll have to plan one at least once a week,” Morton said. “I know
of five people who would have come except they had to work this
The Y reported that another five called after the ride, wanting to be
included on the second one.
“I loved it,” Mabank resident John Boothe, 32, said. “I don’t get to
ride with a group often.”
Boothe works as a firemen for Balch Springs and enjoys riding
Farm-to-Market 1391 between Prairieville and Kemp.
“It’s a nice straight road, but I wouldn’t mind having company,” he
Riding in a group has several advantages.
It alerts motorists to look out for riders, so it’s safer. It offers
camaraderie and the exchange of important bicycling tips and
information, it keeps you motivated for your own health, strength and
skills goals, and it builds confidence, knowing that you’re riding with
others with greater experience at the sport.
“I’ve been riding since I was a kid, does that count,” Justine Viera of
Dallas asked when asked how long she’s been involved in the sport.
“I’ve always loved to ride a bike, but I started cycling just 6 weeks
ago, since March,” she said.
Jim McCan, an occupational therapist at East Texas Medical Center
Athens, took up cycling in November at the age of 60.
“It’s great. I love it,” the athletic-looking man commented.
The Mortons started getting involved in the sport a short time ago, and
have steadily increased their involvement.
After leading the two rides Saturday, the couple was continuing on to
Murchison for a training ride.
“We enjoy the outdoors and the sense of accomplishment when we’ve
covered several miles,” Carol Morton said. “Plus, it’s great exercise.”
The group planned a second ride for 8 a.m. Saturday (yesterday),
starting at the Lakeside Lodge on FM 2495 in Athens at near the Wal-Mart
intersection with a ride to Lake Athens.
“If you write about this, make sure you print, ‘No helmet, no ride,’”
Bob Morton stressed. Following safety rules is an important part to
enjoying the ride, he added.
‘Out of the Shadow’ coming to
Special to The Monitor
TERRELL–The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Affiliate of
Kaufman County invites persons interested in the topic of schizophrenia
to attend an encore presentation of “Out of the Shadow.”
The event is presented by NAMI – Kaufman County, Terrell State Hospital,
and Janssen, L.P.
“‘Out of the Shadow’ is a remarkable film about schizophrenia,
emotionally powerful, showing that recovery is possible, while at the
same time exposing flaws in our mental healthcare system,” NAMI
executive director Mike Fitzpatrick said.
The film is directed, produced and photographed by Susan Smiley.
It is a very personal documentary, which chronicles the filmmaker’s
mother, Millie, and her family through Millie’s battle with
schizophrenia, and her subsequent trials within the public health
A story of madness and dignity, shame and love, this intimate film
illuminates a national plight through one family’s struggle and helps
dispel the stigmas and misconceptions surrounding this harrowing
The event is at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 10, at the Terrell State Hospital Cinema
located at 1200 E. Brin Street, Terrell.
For free registration, please call NAMI Kaufman County at (972) 962-3784
or (903) 880-0398.