My BCB (Best Cycling Bud) Mike had his restrictions lifted today, he can ride again.
The Four Amigos: From left to right, Chuck, me, Phill and Mike at Mountain Mayhem Beat the Heat last summer
For those who don’t remember, Mike had a triple bypass about eight weeks ago. He’s been spinning on the trainer for a couple of weeks, waiting for the doctor to give his blessing so Mike can finally get out the door.
Alas, the wait was a little too much for him and he took a few bandit rides before his appointment… They were slow, short and cautious but he just couldn’t let a wonderful stretch of good weather keep him tied to the trainer. So it often is with those of us who can’t (read that “won’t”) sit still.
Interestingly, when they sent the physical therapy folks over to his house a few weeks ago to work him back but they turned around and left shortly after arriving. It turned out he was too fit for them to work with. So it often is with those of us who won’t sit still.
Phill, Mike and Chuck, left to right, closest to the camera.
I’ve had a wonderful summer cycling this year. Trips up North for DALMAC and the Northwest Tour, down to Ypsilanti for the Ride for Recovery, and thousands of miles in between. It wasn’t a perfect summer though, because….
Mike isn’t in that photo.
That said, tomorrow will begin his recovery to form and I’ll be right there for him, the whole way, as slow as he needs to go, because that’s how we roll.
While many of my friends gave Mike s#!+ for riding early, I understand it completely. Mike and I cycle for many of the same reasons, and fitness is only a small part of it. We both share an enjoyment for the bikes but the big point is that cycling is an escape for us. For an hour or five a day, all that’s out there is the open road, the bike, and turning the cranks. That’s more than enough but it gets better; For both Mike and I, cycling makes us feel young again. Without it, life just isn’t as fun.
So with any luck, come next year at DALMAC, maybe we’ll be able to squeeze him into a photo at that same spot….
Who am I kidding? He’d never stop to take a photo in the middle of a ride. The dude won’t sit still!
Back in the bad old days, a cyclist was required to fly a flag on their bike of they wanted to ride DALMAC.
Obviously I’d wear a blinking jersey before I’d attach a flag to my bike. Now, in some cases, I can understand flying a flag on the back of a bike. A friend of mine rides a hand bike trike that’s so low, a flag absolutely makes sense:
Riding in a pack of eight cyclists in a pace line, a flag isn’t going to matter, even a little bit:
Dude, if a motorist can’t see that adding a flag isn’t going to help.
I was a little surprised when my buddy Phill picked up a flag on the way out of check-in. I hollered after him, “Dude, what’s up with the flag?!” He replied, “Yard art”.
I thought about that a second. Brilliant. I grabbed one too:
In fact, now that I’m paying attention as I drive around, Phill and I aren’t alone. While it would be a stretch to say they’re everywhere, most of the people I know who rode the ride have a flag from one year or another in their yard.
Let’s face it, in terms of cool fitness swag to show off, that flag says a lot. It is first, and obviously, a bike flag. First, it says, “We’re fathers, mothers, sons and daughters and we’re everywhere, even though you might despise us, we don’t deserve to die because we like to ride a bicycle. Please be aware.” Second, if one accepts the idea that a century is the “marathon” of cycling, doing three, almost four over four days in a row is pretty awesome.
In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing a bike flag flown in the yard of every cyclist, just for the first reason. Just sayin’.
Oh, and sad to say, the bike is not a part of the yard art. That gets safely locked away, obviously.