Shifting gears: triathlete, mom, and Bay supporter explains why she bikes for clean water

When Tanya Roy decides she wants to do something, she does it. When she saw an email advertising the very first Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride back in 2001, Tanya knew it was something she wanted to try. But it wasn’t meant to be—a then 47-year-old mom of two young kids, Tanya found herself caught up with a hectic schedule, and before she knew it, 10 years had gone by.

Biker Tanya Roy, in a yellow jacket, glasses and helmet, crossing the span of the Bourne Bridge.

Tanya Roy crossing the Bourne Bridge during the 2016 Watershed Ride.

In 2016, everything fell into place, and that fall, Tanya found herself at the 100-mile start line in Little Compton, ready to cycle her way to Woods Hole.

Although Tanya has been biking her whole life—even riding across the U.S. one summer before attending graduate school—she found herself worrying that she wouldn’t be able to finish the course in the allotted time. She had been training for the Watershed Ride, but had never timed herself when riding more than 55 miles.

However, upon reaching the Bourne Bridge in early afternoon, Tanya calculated how long it would take her to finish, realizing she would be able to make it well before the 6pm cutoff.

“I love the physical and mental challenge that long distance presents,” Tanya explains. “I love to cycle; I associate it with a sense of freedom, escape, self-propulsion and self-direction. The 2016 Ride was memorable because the route is very beautiful and we rode along sections of southeastern MA I had never seen before.”

Tanya couldn’t wait to participate again in 2017. But once again, life had other plans for her. A severe biking accident left her unable to train, or even casually cycle. The morning of the 2017 Ride, she found herself at Spaulding Rehab, still working to recover.

With time, she did, and found herself more determined than ever to bike the full 100 miles in 2018. To prepare, she’s already begun her training: riding a few times a week with friends, her husband, and a local cycling club. She’s even enlisted her daughter to help spread the word via social media.

Tanya Roy on her bike.

Tanya biking in the 2017 Cranberry TriFest triathlon.

But for Tanya, this year’s Watershed Ride is not simply about getting back on her bike.

“The Ride is a great way for me to contribute to the Coalition and its important mission in preserving the Buzzards Bay watershed,” she said. “I have a heightened awareness of and interest in leveraging my love of cycling (and swimming and running) to benefit the nonprofit community and support important causes.”

Tanya is also a 15-time participant of the Buzzards Bay Swim, and finds partaking in both events – the Swim in June and the Ride in the fall – is a great way to stay connected to the Coalition. “Both support a great cause, and both the camaraderie before and after the event and the sense of adventure and fun make them both worthwhile!” Roy said. “I think it’s wonderful that the Coalition offers both events; you’re able to draw a wide range of athletes, especially with the biking distance options.”

She added for anyone on the fence about doing the Ride: “I’d say give it a try because you will have a ton of fun, raise money for a terrific cause, and finish stronger than you think!”

Sign up now and join Tanya and the 200+ others who are biking for clean water on September 30th. Choose from three spectacular 100, 75, and 35-mile overlapping routes along scenic coastal roads from Rhode Island to Cape Cod.

The 2018 Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride is sponsored by Amica Insurance, Anderson Insulation, Fiber Optic Center, and First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union.

Categories: Events, On the Land

Bike for Clean Water

Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride

Bike for clean water at the 14th annual Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020! Enjoy the scenic landscapes of the South Coast and Cape Cod while raising funds for clean water in Buzzards Bay.

Register Now ›

Related Stories

390 Riders Enjoy New Scenic Route at 17th Annual Watershed Ride

After a summer full of rainy weekends, 390 riders enjoyed a crisp and clear fall day at the Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride on Sunday, October 1. 

Full Story ›
Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride Adds New Coastal Feature to Route

The October 1st cycling fundraiser will now include the newly opened Shining Tides Mile on the Mattapoisett Rail Trail.

Full Story ›
Must-Do Scenic Bike Rides on the South Coast

Be sure to add Sunday, October 1st to your calendar, and cross the Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride off of your biking bucket list!

Full Story ›