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CB CycleBarn® 


Who I Am...

My father often said to my mother,
      "The difference between you and a bucket of shit is the bucket."

My father was 5'10" and 320 pounds.
       I remember standing in line at a Phoenix Suns game when a teenager walked up to my father and said, "Do you know you are fat?" 

You could not pay me to relive my childhood. Our home was a dictatorship and my father was the dictator.  Kids made fun of me because of how I dressed and how short my hair my hair was. They told me I was ugly.  As a child, I was nervous, shy, insecure, and didn't fit in at anywhere.  I spent my childhood alone.  My idea of fun was sitting on the floor playing solitaire, listening to an 8 track tape of ABBA or Xanadu over and over.

My father taught me that there was little value in having friends. He honestly believed the only people that you could count on were your family. When he became ill, I took care of him every day of my maternity leave after the birth of my first child. That's what you do when you are family. You take care of each other and love each other no matter how they treated you. When my dad died there were five of us at his funeral. Myself, my husband my son my brother and my mother. He had no friends.

After my father passed my mother suddenly took on a role of being mean to me. She alienated my brother because she didn't like his wife. To my children, she was an amazing grandmother, yet made very little effort to get to know my brother's children. Eight years ago when she became ill, I took care of her. On the night she died, ER doctors asked me if I was her daughter, if I had power of attorney and if she had a "do not resuscitate" on file. I answered "yes" to all three and that was it. I called my husband who was in Northern California and my brother who was in Boston ... both were on business trips. I answered a few questions from hospital staff and was handed the one piece of jewelry that she wore, a silver cross, in a plastic bag. With my mind a bit foggy, I did an about-face, put one foot in front of the other and slowly walked out of the hospital ... alone. At her funeral my friends attended along with my brother and one cousin.  My mother had acquaintances, but no friends.

I know my parents loved me. They just had a dysfunctional way of showing it.
I always figured that there was something in their past that made it hard for them to express emotion.  They kept secrets and told lies.  I've never judged or disliked them because of how they chose to parent.  I saw the good in them.  I am deeply grateful to my parents and for the childhood that wasn't FUN.  I am grateful to have shared my childhood with my brother, John.  We share this bond of family dysfunction that makes us who we are, today.  

Earlier this year, in the midst of Book Your Bike fire drills, I received the following text message from my brother.
"We're not family...  :("
DNA testing confirmed what I had suspected for years.  My brother and I are not related.   I am my parents child.  He is not.  

TheBarn was built on the foundation of my childhood.  

I'm still nervous, shy, insecure, and feel like I don't fit in at anywhere ... except TheBarn. 

I don't want anyone to ever feel the way my father did standing in line at the Phoenix Suns game. I don't ever want anyone to feel the way my mother did when my father compared her to a bucket. But I know that there are people that feel that way.  I don't remember how it felt to be picked on as a kid. I only remember the feeling of helplessness, when my parents were insulted. I remember how much I hurt for them. I wish they had a place where they could have gone that made them feel welcome.


I built a Barn so I can help people.  
I want it to be a space where everyone feels welcome and no one is judged.  

To me, my friends are my family.  It's ironic that the words John chose text to me are "we're not family."   John and I are not family in the traditional sense of the word, we are friends who choose to be family.  My friends and my brother mean everything to me.  

To my spuds and to my buds who aren't spuds,
      I humbly thank you for supporting me and this crazy hope that I can make a difference in the world, one pedal stroke at a time.

Barn customers have told me that they felt comfortable from the moment they walked in the door. They have told me that there is no place they would rather be, that TheBarn is the happiest place on earth, that our riders are the warmest and friendliest, that they love it that we remember their names (except Sonny but he always remembers faces and never claims to remember names)(giggle giggle) and that TheBarn has changed their life.

And then there is that moment...
That moment when a customer pulls me aside and shares with me, their story.

Hearing how TheBarn has helped someone get through life's REAL challenges validates that Indoor Cycling is more than exercise.  Indoor Cycling has the power to heal and transform lives.

Somehow, a bike that goes nowhere in a dark room with loud music nurtures us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

To those of you (and you know who you are) who have shared your stories with me, thank you. Thank you for giving me the strength to share a small part of my story.
There are countless others with stories that will never be told, but I know you are out there.
No matter where you come from, no matter who YOU are...
Let's all go nowhere, together on our indoor unicycles and let's make everyday a day to remember!!!

All I want is a place to call my own,
To mend the hearts of everyone
Who feels alone (whoa)
You know to keep your hopes up high
And your head down low.
                                      ~A Day To Remember


Paulette  Roper
Paulette Roper
Powerful. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for sharing. The energy you put into The Barn is infused to your customers. We appreciate it.