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”.
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”.
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.