i’ve had the good fortune of a very dry april. normally i’d have been stepping into my rainpants for any of of these april rides i have gone on. today was no exception, dry, cool and sunny.
i’d hoped to ride in the first time trial of the season, but i’ve been feeling about 75% and was just starting on a course of antibiotics to fend off bronchitis. there are 3 more in may on the same course in Coburg and so i’ll think about next week. i did go to watch some of the TT. a mixed group of serious triathletes, beginners and everyone in between showed up and ground out a fast 14 miles.
instead i took my now-immaculate machine out on a short loop. i spent an hour sunday cleaning the Cervelo top to bottom. it doesn’t take much for a white bike to start looking grubby. more importantly the chain and derailleurs had gotten gunky. i’m hoping to be in the habit of cleaning and maintaining my bikes once a month. years ago i had a peugeot that i took on a spur of the moment trip from massachusetts to a fiddler’s contest in northeast vermont. i stayed with a college buddy in Rutland and he took my bike to his team mechanic for some work. he and his mechanic were clearly disgusted by the condition of my bike. i’ve never forgotten that embarrassing moment. i clean my bikes well before having any work done to them.
bikes are not complex and so the cleaning process allows one to look over many of the systems (shifting, braking, pedaling, wheel spinning) and notice any irregularities. i did notice a couple of spots where the paint was chipping. not much can be done about that.
i had a nice ride for a few miles and then i ended up behind a couple of riders who were clearly riding to coburg for the TT. i caught them when they stopped for a light and i was able to keep up until we parted ways at a north/south intersection.
i was close to home coming along the bike path when i came upon a small group of older men on bikes. as i passed to the left i noticed that one gent was missing a leg and was pedaling with a prosthetic limb. my mind went to the bombing victims who lost limbs in boston. there have been photos of them on facebook showing them looking very positive and engaged.
there are countless examples of people who suffered injuries in conflicts abroad or in accidents.
i wondered what i would do in their place. would i become resigned to my injury and limitation? or would i have a goal of getting back on my bike with a new arm or leg?
since barb died i’ve found myself in decision making times asking OK Now What?. and i make a decision then and there. i don’t hesitate much. i’m more up front and honest.
a strength of barb’s was just that- she stepped forward and got things done. she made tough phone calls, she made goals and took steps to accomplish them. i feel like her death has me turning a corner. less tenuous, less tip-toeing, stronger resolve, more courage when i need it.
if i lost a leg i’d ask when i could get on the exercise bike, when i’d be back on my road bike, when was physical therapy starting. it would be time to dust off and get back to living. she’s still teaching me and i ask her to do so every sunday morning at 415 AM.