Mother-daughter teams ride the wave of cycling joy

October 4, 2011

By Christina Lords

Emily and Carol Weisbecker wave at onlookers as they pedal along the 12-mile Cycle the WAVE ride on Sept. 18. Contributed

The numbers 371 and 371 were attached to the back of their seats in bold black type.

On their green, four-wheeled recumbent bicycle, Emily and Carol Weisbecker took off from the Cycle the WAVE starting line with one goal in mind — to live together in the moment.

They didn’t know if they’d make the full 12-mile bike ride, but they didn’t really care. They were riding in tandem.

For Carol, the Sept. 18 all-women’s bike ride benefiting domestic violence survivors was a chance to include her daughter — who has mental and physical disabilities — in her long-time joy of cycling.

For the men and women benefiting from the ride’s donations, the event is a chance to break away from the cycle of domestic violence in their lives.

“It was great for Emily to be able to do all of that,” Carol said. “We were able to do the distance together. This is a great, well-supported ride for women of all ages and abilities.”

Emily said she’d like to volunteer for next year’s event cheering on cyclists.

“I just liked the exercise a lot,” she said.

Cycle the WAVE raised more than $130,000 for three King County agencies: the Eastside Domestic Violence Program, Domestic Abuse Women’s Network and New Beginnings. It was the most collected in the event’s four years.

About 1,100 riders, 200 volunteers and 51 sponsors were involved in the project.

How to help

Learn more about the Cycle the WAVE event or donate to the cause at

Riders from 105 cities in Washington and seven other states participated in the 2011 Cycle the WAVE.

Donations to the event will be collected until Dec. 31.

There are four options available for the ride, including the 12-mile Little Sister, the 25-mile Girly Girl, the 42-mile Middle Sister and the 62-mile Burly Girl.

For Issaquah resident Susi Tom, the ride was also a way to share her love of cycling with her 13-year-old daughter Rebecca Tom.

Tom has participated in the event all four years.

“I kept reminding my daughter that this ride isn’t all about her,” she said. “It’s to raise money for a good cause, to help other women in need.

“It was good for her to see the smiling faces on a rainy morning like that,” she added. “I was humbled when I saw all those enthusiastic riders out there.”

Tom, who usually participates in the Burly Girl ride, said the event is geared toward any skill level.

The women who participate feel like they’re empowered, she said.

“It’s always much better to ride with people than just with yourself,” she said. “This is really the only event that I know of that you just ride with other women. I appreciate the encouragement I receive out there from them. It just makes the work easier.”

Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239 or Comment at

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