It was a friend I knew who was cycling [during college]. At that time, I was a really avid skier, and I was just looking for something to do in the off-season to stay conditioned. I hated running, and cycling sounded like a pretty good thing.

Life got in the way and I got away from it, but I redeveloped an interest in it during the first year of the pandemic … I have a really close friend [Jim] who’s a retired banker [and] a very avid cyclist, and he was very encouraging to me to get back into it.

I’ve done a couple long-distance trips over the course of several days. The first one we did, in 2021, we went from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. The riding we do is mostly either on rail trails or canal tow paths, typically off the highway. …That was a seven-day trip, 340 miles total.

That was a really good accomplishment. That was really something I needed to do in my life at that time. I had just lost my wife to cancer, and I realized during that time when she was dying, I was living my life so day-to-day that I didn’t have anything to look forward to. After she passed, I said to Jim, “Let’s just do that trip next year. Let’s do that trip we’ve been talking about.” That gave me something to look forward to, to focus on. After that, I had rediscovered cycling, and it was a really good thing for me.

—Victoria Schutz