I was so nervous that first year I actually wore my helmet backwards, and I only rode 30 miles."
She might be 70, but Carolyn Martin Argust '64 (religion and sociology) can still power past 19-year-olds on hills. She's a familiar sight around her home in Rochester, N.Y., as she bikes the trails and back roads on her way to logging the 3,000 miles she commits to riding each year. Her annual one-week bike tour contributes significantly to the mileage. This year Argust rode around the entirety of Lake Ontario. She's also done bike tours in New England, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, the Outer Banks and Michigan.
Cycling is not a new love for Argust. Even as a youngster growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, she used to bike the five miles to the local library and at Bucknell she and her roommate Jean Drach Cramer '65 enjoyed taking leisurely rides together through the central Pennsylvania countryside. But it wasn't until 2000 that Argust became a serious cyclist. That was the year her sister, Mariann Weinstein, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and Argust signed up to ride in the local Bike MS Challenge, a weekend-long ride to raise funds for MS research.
"I was so nervous that first year I actually wore my helmet backwards, and I only rode 30 miles," she says. Argust has done the challenge every year since, but these days she completes the entire 100-mile round trip and has recruited a team of 40 people to ride with her. This year team MS Miles for Mariann raised $34,000.
Argust is an avid kayaker, too, an activity she enjoys with her husband, Tom '63, particularly at their summer home in the Finger Lakes region. Retired from her career as a public administrator for the City of Rochester, Argust devotes several hours each week to teaching English to Burmese refugees who have settled in upstate New York. The tutoring program she started through her church two years ago has grown from twice-a-week tutoring to a five-day-a-week offering that serves dozens of adult students.
Posted March 2013