Janet Newton, medical case manager at ASA, has biked in every Hill Country Ride since 2008. First founded in 1999, The Hill Country Ride celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. The annual cycling event not only raises funds for local AIDS service organizations but provides fellowship and camaraderie to cyclists of all ages and levels.
For Janet, biking means one thing: Freedom.
“Why do we do this?” she explains. “Get up early when we could be in bed? Because we can when many can’t.”
Throughout her life, Janet has biked whenever she could, even using a bicycle as her primary transportation when she lived in New York City. The Hill Country Ride helps her meld her passion for biking with supporting her agency. “It touches my heart,” she says, “because everyone that rides has a personal reason.”
Over the years, Janet has tried the many different routes offered by the Ride. She remembers one especially steep hill in the 2012 ride that she only climbed halfway. Since the route changed this year, she says, “I’ll never know if I could have done it.”
While Janet constantly tries to stay active, she plans to take targeted spin classes and attend the training sessions offered by the Hill Country Ride. But ultimately she knows that riders “don’t sign up for the Ride. They sign up for the experience. It connects you with all the people who have gone before you.”