Sunday, February 23, 2003

Prize possessions

Mack grandmother keeps foot to bicycle pedal

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer contributor

Who: Julie Royer, 60, of Mack, a floral designer whose feet were made for pedaling.

What: Her collection of more than 100 bicycle-theme items, including a lamp, plaques, a wine rack, a candle, a vase, small statues, Christmas ornaments and framed pictures. She also owns a lace bicycle from Belgium, a pendant from Spain, a Swarovski crystal bike from Austria and a shirt bearing a Leonardo da Vinci design from his home in France.

Where: In a spare bedroom in the home she shares with Bob, her husband of 30 years.

"I used to have them scattered around the house," she explains. "I didn't realize how many I had until I redid this room and put them in one spot. It seems to have gotten out of hand."

Good cause: Royer's interest in bicycles began when she was 40 and started riding long distances to raise money for multiple sclerosis research. Her first trip was a two-day, 150-mile expedition from Cincinnati to Louisville. "It was with a group," she says chuckling, "but not with anyone I knew. They all thought I was having a serious mid-life crisis, so they wouldn't go with me!"

Feelin' good: She began riding for exercise. Her work involves a lot of standing and she was looking for something that would get her off her feet.

"But now it is kind of a challenge the older I get," she says. "I want to make sure I can still do it."

Pride and joy: Even though Royer enjoys her collectibles, her favorite bicycle is the one she rides, a 21-speed, royal blue Trek that was a gift from her husband five years ago. "Up until that time, I rode my children's hand-me-down 10 speeds."

Bike buddies: Mr. Royer doesn't share his wife's passion for pedaling. So she bikes with her girlfriends, Karen Krieg and Sue Hesketh. Their sojourns have included Prince Edward Island, Quebec; Vermont; and the San Juan Islands off the coast of Seattle. "We've covered quite a bit of territory," she says.

Mouths of babes: In addition to long-distance trips, she enjoys taking her grandchildren (she has nine) riding on the bike trail at Miami Whitewater Forest.

"My one grandson told me that I am not `the typical grandmother,' " she says with a laugh. "I assumed he meant that that was good."

Share your prize possessions with Marsie Hall Newbold by mail: c/o The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202; e-mail: Please include a daytime telephone number.

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