Picture this: A vintage blue 1960s bike – single gear with coaster brakes only – decked out in safety lights, a front basket, and a bike bell with a Bambi illustration on top. That is the “Sears Blue Time Machine.” And Terrie Fielden-Barry rode it at the MSU Grand Fondo 6 – where she finished in the top third of the 25-mile ride!
“The bicycle was given to me by my parents when I was probably 10-12 years old. It is a Sears coaster-brake, single-geared ‘machine’ that I lovingly called the ‘Sears Blue Time Machine’ because I felt like a kid again when I rode it” says Terrie. The only modifications Terrie made to this 50-year-old bike were swapping out the seat for one more comfortable and replacing a blown inner-tube – otherwise, it was all original equipment.
But Terrie’s involvement in the Gran Fondo goes beyond her bike. Terrie rides for her mother, Sally – whose diagnosis with cancer was anything but traditional.
In December 2000, after experiencing atypical pap smears for nearly 10 years, Sally was advised to have her cervix removed for safety precautions. But tragically, she experienced post-surgical complications that eventually took her life. After her passing, her tissue samples were sent for evaluation. It was discovered that Sally had metastatic melanoma on her cervix and she was diagnosed with Primary Ocular Melanoma post-mortem. “This is an incredibly form of rare cancer” says Terrie, “only recently have cells (groups of women having ocular melanoma with metastatic disease) been discovered nationally.”
To honor her mother’s memory and battle with cancer, Terrie and her husband, Henry Barry, named their Grand Fondo 6 team “Ride Sally Ride.”
And Terrie is coming back to ride with us and honor her mother in Gran Fondo 7! But this time, she will be retiring the Sears Blue Time Machine for her new bike, a 27-speed Fuji Absolute with 3 x 9 gears. “I’ve not yet come up with a catchy name for my new bike. I’m toying with various titles that include the color of the new bike, my maiden name and/or speedy phrases” says Terrie.
To date, Terrie has reached her fundraising goal for Fondo 7 through the help of her amazing personal donor team of 12 members. “Without them, the ride would not be nearly as meaningful,” she says. “I have pledged to train at least 50 hours on the bike. So far, I’ve ridden over 360 miles/33 hours. Again, this year, I will carry a card with each of my donor’s names, so they can be with me at the finishing line!”
Join the fight against skin cancer on June 22! You can sign up to ride, volunteer or donate at msugranfondo.com.