Lake Life



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 loop.
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 weekend.”
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 said.
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 Terrell
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 system.
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 illness.
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.




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