She decided on Easter Sunday to make the leap. She was going to do it. Mugsy Reynolds was going to commit to riding in Pelotonia.
“I always supported my son Cody,” she says. “I never thought I would complete the Ride myself.”
For the past four years, Mugsy went to McFerson Commons to cheer on Cody as he started his century ride, then would drive to Gambier to pick him up at the Finish Line.
But 2021 was different. Mugsy decided she needed to ride herself. She was retiring in just a few months and moving to Florida; it felt like the perfect time. And she already had the bike! It wasn’t your traditional road bike, but a fat tire bike she bought herself six years ago as inspiration to push through the next several years to retirement.
She rode the bike (called Fatsy) every day to work as a reminder that eventually she wouldn’t be riding in the snow and slush but would someday have the luxury of riding through sand.
Her purpose for riding in Pelotonia was elevated by her relative Tara, a two-time cancer survivor. She always looked up to Tara, who Mugsy says is a healthy and creative individual.
“She’s one of my heroes.”
Tara continues to live with metastatic lung cancer today and says that Mugsy and Cody riding in Pelotonia serve as an inspiration to her.
With this in mind, every time Mugsy felt exhausted from riding she told herself it was nothing compared to what Tara went through.
As Mugsy prepared for Ride Weekend, she received help from her daughter and son. Her daughter helped her navigate the routes during her various training rides and her son helped her understand what to expect during the Ride.
He urged her to purchase some new equipment and a new bike, but Mugsy says she was determined to ride Fatsy for her 100-mile ride. At the starting line, Mugsy saw all the road bikes and special equipment and started to worry he was right. She promptly talked herself out of it, though, thinking, “You’ve got this – be yourself. Think about Tara.”
Mugsy found that all the Riders and Volunteers around her couldn’t have been more supportive. They doled out high fives, cheered her on, and supported her along every step of the way.
“Immediately my anxiety about what people were thinking about me was gone,” she says.
It wasn’t easy, but she continued to traverse the route on her fat tire bicycle. She thought of Tara and was determined to make it to the Finish Line.
Her family was there at the Finish Line with signs, even after she told everyone to not bother coming.
“They were so proud of me,” she remembers. “It brings tears to my eyes. That’ll be a lasting memory for all of us.”
Mugsy says that as a mom, she wants to live by example and aspires for the meaningful moments in her kids’ lives to be of service, honor, and gratitude.
“This is so much more impactful than anything of material value,” she says, referring to her participation in Pelotonia.
Mugsy won’t be joining us in Ohio this year for Ride Weekend, but she will be completing her own Pelotonia challenge on Fatsy in the Florida sunshine. She’s already plotted out her path on the beach, and she’s made sure there are no hills!
“I’m going to participate in some way for the rest of my life,” she says.