Lisa Aven: 56, PLC Coach at Kate Bond Elementary

Bruce Aven: 60, Retail grocery manager

Family: Two daughters and two son-in-laws, three grandchildren and a fourth on the way

Zodiac signs: Lisa-Gemini, Bruce-Leo

How they met: “He had a nice car,” says Lisa. Bruce jokes, “A Camaro will usually get them.” The couple met at the Bartlett Library where Lisa worked. They watched fireworks on their first date, igniting the spark in their relationship. They’ve been married for 35 years.

Their workouts: Bruce has been a cyclist for as long as he can remember. Lisa got into fitness more recently. She decided to tackle a half marathon a few years ago, but arthritis pain kicked in around mile 6-7 and became too much to bear. Bruce convinced her to start biking instead. They started riding casually at All About Bikes’ Tuesday night family ride.

Lisa enjoyed it and learned about the Bluff City Blues 100, a 100-mile cycling ride. “I thought, ‘That’s like the marathon. I want to do that,’” says Lisa. Bruce and Lisa began training with Memphis Hightailers and finished the ride in October 2017. “It was honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I knew I couldn’t give up,” says Lisa.

Their diet: Training for a 100-mile ride challenged how they fueled their bodies. The night before a long ride, they ate a lot of pasta and protein and upped their water intake. Immediately before a ride, they ate peanut butter sandwiches. They fueled with protein bars and bananas during rides. The Hightailers had supplies and gear stops about every 15 miles on the training rides, which helped them stay on track with fueling. Now that the ride is over, they have continued to focus on healthy eating and drink more water.

The pair continues to ride with Hightailers and will volunteer with the Bluff City Blues 100 Training Team this year. Lisa says, “I couldn’t have done it without encouragement from others.”

“Memphis has come a long way making itself bike-able with access to the new Greenway and Greenline and all the streets with bike lanes,” says Bruce. “We wish we were younger to enjoy it more.”

By Christin Yates

Photo by Philip Murphy