Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day

Six Teammates ....

Three Flats .....

And a Trash Bag.

Although many New Years are spent pondering resolutions, I prefer to spend a little more time just to appreciate what I already have. Sure, we all want to do better for ourselves, but much of that comes from things that we already may have, like our health, our family and our friends. As secure as these things may seem, they can be taken away at any time. So this year I am taking a moment to appreciate what I have. As for resolutions: my theory du jour, which begs dispute, is derived from the simple habit of preferring to think of a glass as being half full, rather than half empty. Take a half full life, with space to add more stuff and throw in riding a bike, and I think many of us could be pretty happy. Welcome 2010 ….

My New Years Day ride plans began with apathy, mostly because the weather was uncertain. The day shaped up nicely as teammates began to wake up and feel each others energy. The cast of characters for the day would be: Marianne, Art, Laura, whose car would not start the morning she was supposed to depart for Oregon, Dar, whose car broke down in Vermont and was pretending to be stranded at Marianne’s house and Willy, who had finally gotten a day off of work.

Although snow covered the ground in the morning, temperatures were rising fast, and I wagered on the snow melting off the roads by mid-day so that we could do a team road ride. Just as expected, the snow melted quickly, and six Campmorians gathered for a ride to welcome the New Year. Laura, whose clothes were still packed in the car at the gas station where it would not start, rode her bike over to the start with a trash bag under her skinsuit. She made crinkle, crinkle noises as she moved in her resourceful wardrobe. As “un-green” as trash bags are made out to be, they come in handy now and then, and many a cyclist have been caught out in bad weather, and found a trash bag to get them home. With the current growing unemployment rate, I think this wardrobe worthy of recognition.

Within a quarter mile of the start of the ride, Art pulled out of the pace line with a flat tire, and like whales in a pod, we followed in unison and huddled together in sympathy. Every cyclist hopes that if a tire needs to be changed in winter, that it be quick and uncomplicated. Unfortunately, Art had a stubborn wire bead tire. After a tiresome 15 minute tire change, Art was a bit frustrated, but we all hung in there with him to get through the change. Sharing tools and co2, all with words and laughter, got the job done, and we were on our way again. About two miles down the road, Art pulls out of the pace line again announcing he is going flat and is done with this ride; about faces and rides away.

The group was feeling a bit sad about the split, but we agreed to all systems go and pushed on with our ride, but deep inside, we all missed Art, the head whale (insert whale noises). 30 minutes go by, and the phone rings. This was a thankful for technology moment, as Art was on another bike and wanted to meet us en-route somewhere. Hooray! We set up a meet location and greet him with whale hugs. The happy whale pod was back together and continued on with the ride. Oh yeh, Dar gets a flat too, but I think you all know the routine by now. work!

Six teammates, three flat tires and a trash bag later, I realize how lucky I am to spend the first day of the year with such special friends. Each and every one of them is there for the other, and always ready to lend a hand, and be a friend. Looking forward to many more of these rides in 2010!

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