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The 2022 DALMAC, For Our Group, Was A Tour for Friends; We Had A Fabulous Group For This One…

I’ve held nothing back when writing about my wife this last six months. The changes we’ve gone through have been nothing short of miraculous. Even with those changes, I never expected they’d mean having such a good time on our Lansing to Mackinaw tour, though. What became evident on the tour, though, was that the changes my wife and I made would have an effect on how I felt about and treated my friends on the ride. The bond I felt riding with my friends was much greater than before, and I have no doubt that was a result of the work Jess and I have done in our marriage.

And maybe a little luck with the weather…

I can’t ever remember having such a big group for the start of our adventure – and I can’t remember having that many stick together till the end. We had two new guys for this one, too. One was a friend of ours who has ridden with us on Tuesday nights and sometimes during the week for years. The other was the son of a long-time part of our group (who pre-dated me by almost three decades). Doug’s son, in fact, had a pretty sweet GT Edge (steel) from the early 90s with first gen Campagnolo integrated shifters, but the seat tube cracked at some point on Day One, so his mom (who was SAGing for Doug) drove him home so he could ride his fixie for the rest of the tour. He did the whole tour, minus walking 100 yards of the wall, on a 48/15 fixed gear bike, sometimes reaching speeds in excess of 32-mph on downhills. His cadence had to be in the 180s to 200s and it did not look fun (though he did have brakes on that bullhorn handlebar). Let’s just say, he’s one of the few people who could legitimately say they won DALMAC… he took the fixie division. I think he was the fixie division.

Anyway, we had a text group 17-deep for that ride and it could have been in the 20s if I included everyone. Usually it’s around nine or ten.

We ate together, walked to ice cream shops together, rode together, and helped one another with mechanical issues as needed throughout the ride. We showed up to ride our bikes but got so much more… and I got to experience all of this with a healed heart with the love of my life SAGing and riding with me.

There were a lot of comments on that group text that mentioned, or came close to, “best DALMAC ever”. I can tell you for sure, this was the best I’d ever been a part of. And for that I am grateful. One of my wife and my favorite songs of late is Pearl Jam’s Just Breathe. I usually can’t make it through the song without tearing up. There’s a line in the song that, I realized just a couple of days ago, applied to this year’s DALMAC (and many of the previous iterations):

Oh, I’m a lucky man
To count on both hands
The ones I love
Some folks just have one
Yeah, others they got none

Google “Pearl Jam Just Breathe Lyrics”…

I can’t count the friends I love on both hands. I need my toes, too. And Jessica’s fingers and toes. And maybe yours, too, when you factor in recovery. I am a lucky man.

And with that new tandem due to show up in four or five months, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Thanks, God.