I first met Madge when I was training to ride in the Philadelphia->DC AIDS ride in 1996. Her husband, Dick, was the chemistry lab assistant at the school I was teaching at in Philadelphia, and they were members of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia who were also regular ride leaders. Dick invited me on rides, offered to lead groups of teachers on rides, and introduced me to Madge.
Madge was a wonderful, generous woman who immediately offered to let me stay overnight the night before the ride, and transportation to the ride start at some incredibly early hour of the morning. She was encouraging and helpful, and made sure I carbo-loaded properly the night before the ride and well hydrated.
Here I am, ready to go at 6:30 AM outside the old Philadelphia Civic Center (since demolished), thanks to Madge and Dick.
Since the AIDS ride, I continued to ride on occasion with Madge and Dick off and on for a few years. Their Saturday rides were an easy pace that always featured a stop for pancake brunch. Since they always started in Northeast Philly, however, I began to find it bothersome to drive there for a ride on Saturday morning, and after moving in with my husband I stopped riding with them altogether.
I am sorry that I have not ridden lately, I am sorry not to have spent more time with Madge. She died on Saturday, on a ride with Dick and loyal riders who have been riding with them on Saturdays for years. I have no photos of Madge, but I have good memories.
Dick, my heartfelt sympathies are with you, your children and grandchildren. I will see you at the viewing on Thursday. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know you know how lucky you both were to have each other for so long. She was one of those people who touch your heart and make you feel warm and cared for.