Wallingford businesswoman Mrs. DeGroot wanted to change her lifestyle, so she traded in her 1997 Volvo for a bike at Gas Works Park this afternoon.
Mrs. DeGroot, an etiquette consultant who runs Wallingford Charm, rode into a cheering crowd on top of a circus car at Tour de Fat, an annual cycling event at the park. Moments later, she signed over the Volvo to charity and jumped on a brand-new Black Sheep commuter bike.
The cycling crowd, as you might imagine, was ecstatic. (Watch our video below.)
“It makes me really happy,” she told us after riding away with the bike. “You know, it’s time, because I’m going to be 60. And I’m just downsizing and want to change my lifestyle. So I just think it’s just a cool thing — an opportunity. Some people have opportunities that don’t take them. So I just took it.”
Mrs. DeGroot, who only goes by her last name, gave the license plate frame from her Volvo to one of the event organizers. He said he wanted the frame — which says “What Would Mrs. Degroot Say?” — to put on one of the Tour de Fat tour vehicles. Tour de Fat is run by New Belgium Brewing in Colorado best known for its cycling-inspired beer, “Fat Tire.”
“The bike is sweet, there’s no denying that,” said Mrs. DeGroot, who said she’s looking forward to her switch from driving to cycling. “I’m going to do it with purpose and pride, I’m going to make a serious effort.”