Bikes Change Lives : Kathy Ferraro
I feel as though I have always ridden a bike. I can still remember learning how to ride a two wheeler as a 5 year old, maybe it's the old family movies that have instilled this vision as part of my story. When I turned 16, a time when a few kids received cars for their 16th birthday (I lived in Cupertino - home to Apple), my parents gave me a 10 speed bike from Sears. I was ecstatic!
Bicycles always meant freedom and adventure to me and this bike let me roam farther afield than my previous recycled Schwinn Cruiser. When I was 18, I went on a six week bicycle tour offered through the local community college. We cycled with all our camping gear from Seattle to San Jose via the San Juan Islands, along the Washington, Oregon Coast & down the California Coast. It was a real turning point. I decided that when I grew up I wanted to be a bicycle tour guide. Which I did for about 10 seasons after graduating college for various groups. This lead me to a full time career in Outdoor Recreation at UCSC. After that trip I felt that I was a "cyclist" and there was no going back.
When thinking about the many "rad People" that I have meet while biking, what really comes to mind are the many friends I have made as a member of the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club. As a semi retired person I didn't realize how much fun it was to meet a whole new group of new friends who shared a passion for cycling, adventure and friendship. I can't imagine another sport that would have given me the same sense of connection. I enjoy cycling with this group on a weekly basis and the camaraderie of the club. It's great and I would encourage anyone to try it.
One of my favorite places to go on a bike that is only accessible via two wheels or your own two feet is Wilder Ranch. I am always awed by the beauty of the surroundings every time I go. I often pinch myself because I feel so fortunate that this is in our own backyard. After traveling to many places by bike, it ranks high on my list. If you haven't been there then you should. Besides the natural environment, ocean, forests, sweeping coastlands, there is the bounty of wildlife I have seen there, bobcats, coyotes, birds of prey and more.
Q: So, why bikes?
A: Why not?