Brad is just barely fast enough to hang with my boys and I. He gives it his best but he’s hiding within 30 miles. I am happy to do extra so he can ride with us.
My buddy Phil is a bit faster, but Mike and I can hammer him. He hides a lot too, but every once in a while, he’ll take a monster turn up front and really pull out group out of a rut.
Mike is a little stronger than I am, except on hills. I rely on Mike when I’m beat. And he is my best cycling friend. He and I put in a lot of miles together.
Chuck is a mountain goat and a hell of a strong cyclist. He’s an all around great guy and fun to have on a tough ride.
Matt is one of the best QC cyclists on the planet. If he’s a part of the group, you’re assured of riding the best possible route and stopping at a decent lunch stop along the way. Chances are, you’ll also get an incredible Michigan History lesson too.
Dave and Greg are our local racers. They’re stupid-fast yet open and really approachable… Riding with them makes any noob faster, almost by association alone. They beat our asses but Greg is just as likely to drop back and help one of us back if we let a gap form, just because he can.
Winston is our class clown. He has an “Oh my God, I’m so hungover” story every Sunday morning but the dude is a horse. A 5’6″ 135 pound ox. It’s almost not fair.
McMike is the nicest fast guy I know. He said to me on my first night (maybe it was my second), “If you get into trouble, find my wheel and I’ll get you back).” And he has, and does, for anyone.
Adam and Diane on their tandem are famous for, “Don’t try to take a turn up front, we can’t accelerate like you anyway. Just enjoy the draft.” They’re the ones who turned us onto the Horsey Hundred.
I would be remiss to leave out the most important member of this group, my wife. Mrs. Bgddy. Cycling with my wife, at speeds well in excess of “average” is something special. Can’t even put it all into words without a full post. It’s that awesome.
Then there are the bike rides with my daughters. My oldest and her road bike, riding around in the drops and my 8 year-old, gutting out a ten miler… It doesn’t get much better than that, though 28 mph with six inches between me and the next guy is pretty good…
Going back to the top of the list, Brad is in the hospital. My wife and I talked to him today before the operation… I have to stop by and grab him a set of training wheels so he can put them on his bike and get back a little sooner. At the very least, he’ll get a great laugh out of it. I’m hoping Mike and Brad can go with, we’ll see.
Phil’s son-in-law passed away the other day, from cancer. My heart breaks for him, and his daughter whom I’ve never even met. I’ll find out where the funeral is, and when, and my wife and I will show up to give our condolences.
Three years ago the only one of those people I knew, I was married to. My wife made a joke about my buddy Mike and I at dinner last night. I’ll be coming home a week earlier than they will from vacation. I’ll miss them terribly but let’s face it, I’m going to have a week to put in some wild miles while they’re away. Mike will be there for many of those and my wife knows this. So we’re talking about the logistics of my return trip at dinner and she says, “Who are you kidding? You’ll probably frolicking with Mike in your bike shorts, out in a field!” I said, “Oh, there’s no doubt” and I did the ungainly flapping of my arms like a bird motion to mimick the frollicking… And we both laughed out loud, right there in the restaurant.
I had a good, decent, happy life before cycling.
Cycling made that good life a lot more fun and filled it to capacity with friends who want nothing more than to go for a bike ride.
Not ironically, my friend Kecia was the inspiration for this post…