Linda Votey adjusts her bike helmet and prepares to greet the road like an old friend. This ride, among countless others, is not only for recreation but also for a cause. Votey, an avid cyclist for over three decades, is a leading member of the Bearden-Josey Women’s Cycling Team.
Votey’s dedication to the team stems from personal experience. As a cyclist, Votey enjoys participating in rides to promote physical and mental health for women. And as a six-year breast cancer survivor, she understands the day-to-day struggle of those confronting the disease.
In 2014, three years after her diagnosis and treatment at the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health, Votey was invited to join the fledgling cycling team by fellow cyclist and team founder, Rene McCurdy.
“[McCurdy] saw that Spartanburg needed a women’s cycling team, and she recruited women, no matter their ability or skill level, to take part in an incredible opportunity. We are here to raise awareness about breast cancer and serve our community,” Votey said.
Today, Votey is one of 25 members of the Bearden-Josey Women’s Cycling Team, whose mission is to inspire and encourage women to reach their fullest potential through cycling and active community participation.
The team welcomes women from all backgrounds and walks of life. The team creates a safe way for women to ride free of judgment and at their own pace – whether joining in weekly rides organized by partner cycling club The Freewheelers, or competing in the grueling Assault on Mount Mitchell.
“It’s an honor to be part of such an amazing support system,” Votey said. “Proceeds from our rides go to the Gibbs Cancer Center Survivorship Program or to a local individual in need. It’s refreshing to see how our fundraising efforts directly impact lives close to home.”
The Bearden-Josey Women’s Cycling Team is powered by strong women, like Linda Votey, who have pushed their love for cycling above and beyond a hobby. They are dedicated to their craft and use it as a means for community outreach and health education. Saving lives one mile at a time.
To find out more about the Bearden-Josey Women’s Cycling Team and upcoming events, follow them on Facebook.