I attended the viewing for a colleague’s husband Wednesday afternoon. He had passed quickly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. That’s not what got him though. His cancer was actually shrinking with the treatment he was on, by almost half. No, they found a brain tumor after he became increasingly dizzy. That was too much.
There’s something about a good bike ride that can turn around a sad story for me every time. I headed straight home, kissed Mrs. Bgddy repeatedly, and got ready to ride. For once, my wife rode with and we left early, about twenty minutes, for some extra miles. She rode on while I headed back to the house to grab my friend, Chuck.
Two miles in we caught up to my wife. A mile later we were standing on the side of the road. I’d hit a little pothole and broke a spoke nipple. I twisted the loose spoke around an adjacent spoke and opened up the brake release. We rolled on, opting to do the whole route. My wife headed home while Chuck and I pushed on.
A half mile later the spoke came loose from the good spoke and wrapped itself around the axle. No chance of saving the spoke now, so I wrapped it ugly around the good spoke again. It wasn’t going to come loose again.
Now, you might think that I was all kind of messed up, with the viewing anxiety, seeing a friend grieving over the spouse she’d loved… now messing with the spoke…. But no. I was still out for a bike ride in shorts and short sleeves, at 5:30 on a Wednesday evening, at the end of September – and I’d rolled over 1,000 miles for the month a few miles back.
The wheel held up from there and we made it to the bike shop without incident where I was hoping I could borrow a wheel for a couple of days so Matt could rebuild mine…. Instead, he just fixed it on the spot. New spoke and trued, out the door. I put the tube and tire on, checked that the tire was seated properly, and while I was messing with that, Chuck and Matt made plans for the new paint job for his Tarmac.
Done, we rolled out.
The ride home was all tailwind and fast. My wife rolled in with the kids and pizza for dinner right behind us. My day was rough but the evening more than made up for it.
I sobered up when I was just a kid, coming up on a quarter-century ago, with the simple hope my life would end up okay. Just okay would have been awesome contrasted with what I left behind. There’s a lot of chaos in my life lately, but I have faith I’ll make it through, because as tough as things may seem, my troubles pale in comparison to those of my drunk days…
I heard something that made me chuckle, paraphrasing:
Now, we often hear people say that their worst day sober is better than their best day drunk and I feel sorry for them. I had some really good days when I was drinking and they were definitely better than my worst day sober. However, there is no doubt that my worst day sober was vastly better than my worst day drunk and my best day sober was vastly better than my best day drunk.
All I need is to spend some time with my wife, kids and a friend or two on our bikes to realize how good I’ve really got it. Oh, and let’s not forget, some pizza pies to go around. Gotta love the pizza.