There’s no question about it, the post by Legs a couple weeks ago knocked it out of the park. After reading the post, I had a mission for the next day, to get out and ride my mountain bike. A call was made to the one and only Angry Buddhist, and we made plans to ride down in Pueblo, CO. The ride was just what the doctor ordered, especially considering the fact that I hadn’t ripped some trail in close to five months. The familiar feelings of sweat turning to crust on my helmet straps, the dead legs after a stop that went on just a little too long, and the total joy that happens when you come around that corner and can feel the tailwind pushing you just a bit faster returned quickly. The day of sunshine, trail, beer, and good company was phenomenal, and made the four hours of total drive time well worth it. My initial plan had been to type up a post about how great it was to rally trail in between Front Range snow storms. I started pounding the keys about the time spent riding, and actually had a halfway decent post scrapped together. Then I got a call from my dad…
My dad had news about my 88 year old aunt, who has been sick since November. Her cancer was officially diagnosed not soon there after. Last week her health appeared to take a turn for the worse. Every night almost like clockwork, I’d get a call from my dad with an update, very little of the news being good. Finishing up the post about riding in Pueblo took a backseat. I just couldn’t get myself in the right mindset to finish the post. The escape of cycling still existed in my daily commute, as there were few excuses that would get in the way of me logging those miles. Finish up a long day in the field that involved carrying around/working with heavy equipment? That’s alright, the 45 minutes of pedaling to get home will cap of a day just fine. Wake up to an unexpected snowfall and a flat tire? Better hurry up and fix the flat, toss on the snow pants, and enjoy cutting fresh tracks on the bike paths.
With daylights savings this past weekend, my rides home this week have been extended significantly. I start in the western suburbs, riding towards the Denver skyline, as the city calls me home. I cut underneath I-25 and enjoy a smug laugh as I see the cars slowing down due to traffic. I get on the Cherry Creek bike path, a major trail to get anywhere in the city if you are looking to avoid cars. I pass my neighborhood, and keep pedaling east, towards the plains of Kansas; frequently debating if it would be worthwhile to just ride clear out to the border. In no time I need an escape from the path clogged with walkers, joggers, and people with their dogs. I duck off the path at certain spots, escaping to the “citytrack” that follows the path of the creek. The trails are far from spectacular but the sound of dirt beneath my tires couldn’t be more welcome. Eventually I decided to make my way home, knowing there is food and drink in the fridge, and a lady who wants nothing more than to see me. A little under two hours has passed since I left work, and I’ve spent the majority of that time thinking about an 88 year old who has refused to give up the fight.
Even though this weekend would be a perfect chance to get out and ride, I called an audible. Flights have been booked to get back east and see my aunt. Frankly, this is the form of therapy I have been missing. More often than not a bike ride can solve my (our) mental problems, but this time I need to be with the ones that I love. While I encourage everyone to get out there and ride this weekend, I also hope we can all take a minute to appreciate the ones that matter to us. Take the extra time to let them know you care about them.by