Last April I was elated to hear my dear friend of 25+ years was going to visit me. I also knew it would be a difficult and memorable visit as Tracy was battling stage 4 cancer and had already surpassed her doctor’s life expectancy prediction. Because of her physical limitations, I wanted to give her a gift of experiencing some sort of normalcy. Then it came to me…I wanted us to go on a bike ride that would allow her to feel as though she was healthy and independent. I contacted my friend, Catherine, who was in the midst of starting up another non-profit called GoodTurn Cycles in Littleton, Colorado. I asked her if Tracy and I could use her electric bikes, and she, of course, enthusiastically made it happen!
I’ll never forget our day together. We met Tyler, Catherine’s employee, at the Aspen Grove Nature Center on a perfect Colorado spring day. Tyler showed us how to ride the bikes and I kept thinking “I sure hope she doesn’t fall or hurt herself!” Tracy was hesitant at first, with her tiny 90 pound frame making her look more vulnerable than ever. However, within 10 minutes she was racing me down the Platte River Trail grinning from ear to ear! We had an amazing day, rode over 7 miles, had lunch, laughed, and compared ourselves to professional athletes!
That was the last time I saw Tracy. She didn’t want her friends to see her towards the end. Instead, she wanted us to remember her in a different way. Tracy Wheeler Ferree passed away on July 29, 2016. She was a champion in spirit and is very missed. When my husband and I traveled to Houston for her Celebration of Life, we had the opportunity to meet some of her friends. They knew who I was, not as Tracy’s long time friend, but the friend that took her on the ride of her life. I would encourage any of you who desire to share an experience with your friend or relative (whether they are in good health or struggling with an illness or disability) not to wait… embrace the moment and contact Good Turn Cycles! Not only will you have the ride of your life, you will be contributing to Catherine’s cause in helping others in need of a “hand up!”