Derek Hosey, 30, had always been a basketball guy. He started when he was young and played through four years in college. Not only was it a way of staying active, but it was also a comfort and something he relied on to work things out in his head and relieve stress.

More recently, Derek is a busy dad who also works as a wholesale car dealer. The demands of his schedule have put basketball on the sideline while he’s worked to be a good father and provide for his family. And that meant he was left sputtering after a traumatic event this year in March. 

His beloved uncle, who was often described as the life of the party and someone who could brighten anyone’s day, was found murdered. The two had always been close, so Derek took the loss hard.  

“I loved who he was to me, and I truly miss his presence,” Derek says.

As grief often does, it took him to a dark place, and Derek describes how numbness took over. As basketball wasn’t an option anymore during the pandemic, he knew he had to do something to help himself process. This is when Derek found cycling.

“I was in need of a new coping mechanism and decided to go ahead and give the cycling world a go,” Derek explains. “Nothing has been as effective as cycling when it comes to me being in control of my negative energy.”

He had always had an interest in the sport, and now cycles four to five times a week. Although he occasionally enjoys riding independently when needing some alone time, his true passion is cycling with a group. 

Even though he’s been at it less than a year, he already founded Grind City Cycling Club. It’s an inclusive environment open to all speeds, distances, and age groups. Besides helping members reach their personal cycling goals and helping them gain experience in a team atmosphere, another key aspect of the group is giving back to the Memphis community.

This fledgling nonprofit didn’t waste any time making waves. Derek and the club organized the city-wide charity ride, Paint the Streets Pink Ride for Breast Cancer Awareness, that was held in October. Participants met at Crosstown Brewery with Covid safety precautions in place and enjoyed a post-ride party with food trucks, music, and a ceremony to present a check to Susan G. Komen.

Community support, physical activity, and helping others are all key components of what’s helped Derek overcome his uncle’s tragic death and rediscover joy. “My mental health has improved tremendously,” he says.

Anyone struggling with depression should seek professional help, but Derek also encourages them to lean into things that bring them joy and happiness. And there’s an open invitation at Grind City Cycling Club for anyone looking for a little bit of camaraderie to get them through these tough times. 

By Lucy Harrison

Photography by Tindall Stephens