The weather Friday and Saturday, put simply, sucked. Rain, cold, snow and eventually ice. We had it all. Well, technically hindsight being what it is, my wife and I did have a window we could have snuck a ride into on Friday, but the trainers made more sense with snow looming in the forecast.
Saturday I slept in till 5 and it was the most glorious sleep I’ve had in some time. It looked like this outside:
Cycling without a fat bike would have been foolish so my wife and I hit the trainer early… What could possibly make a trainer ride more bearable?
“Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.”
“Damn that guy!!!”
Yep! A little good old-fashioned Top Gun! Best surround sound movie ever made. Still.
Then the real fun started… My friend James picked me up a little after 11 am so we could head down to the Joe Louis Arena for one of the final Detroit Red Wings games to be played there…
A little history about me, the Red Wings, and my buddy James… I have a Red Wings tattoo that I got the day before they won their second Stanley Cup in my lifetime, their second in a row, in 1998. My wife’s cousin was the physical trainer for the Wings for three Cups – ’97, ’98 and 2002. I got to attend three Stanley Cup parties. I have a Brendan Shanahan sweater that he signed. While I was wearing it. I met, from a distance, Chris Chelios, Darren McCarty, Kris Draper and a few of the Russian Five. To say I’m a fan is a ridiculous understatement.
My friend, who would be giving his first Open Talk later that evening, and I went to our first Wings game with Eric S., another friend of ours, almost fifteen years ago. As my friend described his experience at the game on Saturday, that was the first time he attended a sober sporting event and he knew he would be able to repeat it without worrying.
With the Red Wings leaving JLA for good, my friend and I will have a good deal of our 20-year history closing as well. He wanted to see one last game now that he’d made it in recovery.
I picked Saturday because of the Colorado Avalanche being in town… They were the only team left in the season that had a worse record than the Wings and if you weren’t aware of that rivalry…
It simply was a perfect capper.
My wife met us for dinner and after shuffling the restaurant twice to avoid waits, we called a favor in to my brother-in-law and traveled from Hartland to Brighton and ate at my brother’s restaurant, The Wooden Spoon. Spectacular is the only word for that. Steak, blue corn grits, salad with fresh-made ranch dressing, coffee and a perfect piece of pecan pie.
A perfect dinner was followed by my friend’s Open Talk and he nailed it – and I was able to run interference all day so my friend wasn’t obsessing about having to give his talk.
If Saturday was mainly about recovery, Sunday was about unadulterated mileage. 32 miles in the morning with my wife, Matt and Chuck. Now, many of you would rightly say that, considering my normal mileage that isn’t all that impressive – and you’d be right. My regular cycling buddy, Mike was unable to ride in the morning due to a family obligation so I went back out with him for another 17 later that afternoon.
The morning ride was chilly but the sun was shining so even though we did have a little bit of ice on the road to start, it wasn’t enough to hurt traction and it melted off as soon as the sun hit it anyway. Unfortunately that made for some rooster tails early on but as long as we kept it out of the main tire channels in the road, it wasn’t too bad. The most enjoyable part of the ride for me was that I got stronger the farther we went. My turns at the front got longer and faster. There’s no doubt I pulled into the driveway with a smile on my face. Mrs. Bgddy, despite protesting through some of the ride, hung in tough and did awesome.
The afternoon ride was a little trickier, but only because everything had dried out – I almost took the Venge out for its first day in the sun. I didn’t though, in the end. Mike called me shortly after four and we were rolling by a quarter after. We did a (mercifully) slow 17 miles (21 for Mike). I think we ended up with a 16-1/2 mph average. It was one of those rare rides where nothing matters but turning the pedals over and talking with my friend – and fortunately with Michigan and Michigan State playing in March Madness, we didn’t have to worry about traffic much. We spent all but three miles side by side talking life over.
That brings me to today… Today is my 8,888 consecutive 24 hours of sobriety. Good times and noodle salad indeed.