Motocross and A Whole Lot More

Month: May 2022

Mike Feeley

February 26, 1957 – May 15, 2022

This is not how retirement was supposed to go down for Mike. He had the most anticipated, and advertised, retirement of anyone I have known. Seemed he would ask twice a week “Hey, did I tell you I was retiring?“. Just in case you hadn’t heard. For two years he would ask you this and it just became a running joke.

Well, he did retire and life was good… for about a year. Then he was diagnosed with cancer. And then COVID restrictions put everything on hold. Mike never did get to do that bike ride around Ireland as he had planned on. He didn’t get to rent that lighthouse in Maine that he and Cindy had planned on for later this month. He did welcome a grandson into the family and that gave him a bit of energy and a lot of enjoyment.

Mike loved to joke around and make you laugh. We made a lot of changes in our ten years together, much of it when there were only two of us in the department, but even when things got stressful he would find a way to keep it light. I’m going to miss our conversations about anything and everything, A-Z, from light hearted things to the serious stuff. He was a boss, he was a mentor, and he became a friend who was more like a brother. He was there for me when my mother passed away, and he was excited when Linda and I started riding bikes (one of his passions) last summer. We talked about getting out on a ride together this summer, and I think he was as excited for the bike trip we are taking this fall as we are.

Mike passed away Sunday the 15th. He was only 65. This is not how the most anticipated retirement was supposed to go.

I’m going to miss you brother.

Mike was treated at Dana-Farber and they are having a fundraising bike ride on June 18th at Treehouse Brewing in Deerfield. Linda and I will be taking part in this. I know money is getting tight with the current economy, but if you can, please donate any amount you can.

May Day 2022

Along the CT River in Northfield

After several colder than normal days, Sunday (May 1) popped up with a golden opportunity to get outside and ride, with temps in the upper 60’s and very little wind. We chose a new route that we had, kind of, mapped out over the winter; leaving Greenfield and riding into Bernardston, then over to Northfield and south to Gill, Montague and back to Greenfield. It’s a loop that took us a bit over 25 miles, or 40 kilometers. Let’s go with kilometers; it sounds better to say you rode 40 instead of 25.

It was a great time out on the bikes, but I must admit, for much of the ride my thoughts were on a friend who has been dealing with the big C. He and his wife were avid cyclists and had planned a bike trip to Ireland after retirement. Just about a year after retiring he was diagnosed, and for the last two years he has put up a valiant fight, but sadly, it is getting the best of him.

When we started working together the kids were racing motocross and we would always rib each other on pedal vs throttle. He would tell me about the different rides they went on, often in our “neck of the woods”. He would tell how these rides help with not only physical fitness, but with mental fitness as well. “When you get out on the bike and get closer to nature, you forget all the BS of the week”.

Samantha and Linda

Last year Linda and I started riding bikes, slowing increasing our endurance and getting into riding shape. When things were still hopeful with his prognosis my friend and I discussed doing some of the routes that he and his wife enjoyed when he felt up to it. He would ask about our excursions; How far did we ride? How were “the climbs”? He would get a chuckle from my lamenting on the difficulty of “getting our asses use to skinny seats”.

The Brewery at Four Star Farms

One of the interests we shared was trying new craft beers. So when we stopped into The Brewery at Four Star Farms in Northfield for lunch it was only fitting that we raised a glass to him. All the while wishing he and his wife could be there with us.

Such is life. Make the most of the time you have here on this big blue marble. Be kind to one another, be helpful to those who need it, and stop waiting for “someday”. Cheers to you Mike.

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