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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Billie Teneau faces life head on

Suburban Journals photo of Billie TeneauThe Suburban Journals has a nice feature today about Billie Teneau, easily the Gateway Council of Hostelling International's most dedicated volunteer. Here's a brief excerpt from the story:

"A tiny woman, Teneau (pronounced Tea-no) has a big presence. She does nothing halfway and believes in 'supersizing' almost everything she does."

The story focuses on Billie's 50 years of service as an actress and director with the Hawthorne Players, a St. Louis-area community theater group, but it doesn't talk about her contributions to the Gateway Council.

Let me fill in a few of the gaps.

This year alone, she will be one of the ride leaders for the Flat-as-a-Pancake Century Ride on May 31 in New Baden, Ill.; the Peach Pedal Ride on July 26-27 in Belleville, Ill.; and Cycle Across Missouri on June 8-13 in central Missouri. Those are just the major rides. She also leads lots of smaller rides for the Gateway Council over the course of the year.

She's always willing to lend a hand on other people's rides. She is a regular volunteer on the Tour de Stooges that I lead for the Gateway Council. After helping out with registration, Billie then goes out and rides the 30- or 42-mile route.

Billie truly is one of the unsung heroes of the St. Louis cycling scene. If you're on a bicycle ride in the St. Louis area and see her at registration or on the road, be sure to thank her for all she does for cycling in our community.

In the article, Billie is coy about her age, describing herself only as "being a senior citizen for years." I roughly know how old she really is, but in deference to Billie, I'm not saying a word. Let's just say that I hope I have a fraction of her energy when -- or if -- I reach her age.

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