Randy Rodin was still recovering from breast cancer including a lumpectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy when she got a flat tire while cycling in Oro Valley.

“I saw an older lady walking her bike,” said Ron Alvarez.

“And, you know, bike shoes have cleets underneath so clearly you’re not walking well,” said Rodin.

“And, she looked like she was in trouble,” said Alvarez.

“I see a cyclist riding by with a very nice kit and riding a nice bike and I put some energy out there and maybe this man will stop,” said Rodin.

“I instinctively went to help her,” said Alvarez.

“He asked if he could help me and I told him in had a flat tire,” said Rodin.

Ron Alvarez wasn’t just the tire changer that Rodin needed. He was the cycling coach she needed as well. Alvarez introduced Rodin to Natalie O’Farrell, a bone cancer survivor who was once told she would never be able to run again.

“I chose cycling as my sport because it meant so much for me to be active,” said O’Farrell.

Rodin and O’Farrell became fast friends.

“The two have a bond that’s super special,” said Alvarez.

“We got to know each other,” said Rodin. “We shared some very personal stories.”

“Unless you are a survivor, unless you have gone through cancer, you can not underestimate that enough,” said Alvarez.

The two cyclists motivated each other to such improved times, that Alvarez brought up the idea of competing.

“I suggested that they do some local and regional events, and they did extremely well,” said Alvarez. “They exceeded my expectations.”

At the recent USA Cycling Masters Road Racing Nationals in August, Georgia, both cyclists scored podium wins.

”I knew they belonged there,” said Alvarez. “It’s amazing. It made me cry.”

“Tom me it was great to be part of friends and a support system and be on that podium,” said O’Farrell.

It was a display of triumph and resilience by Randy Rodin and Natalie O’Farrell, two proud members of the Tucson cycling community.