Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Blessed Reunion

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Cream City Cycle Club, Milwaukee's oldest bike club. I was one of the original members of this club, back in the early '80s. I haven't been a member for over 20 years though, so I didn't know if I would see any familiar faces. But to my surprize, it was a real pleasure when I walked through the doors and was warmly welcomed by several of my old friends, still alive and kicking and riding. To be able to share the experience of breaking the Wisconsin cross-state record with these old familiar faces was a true blessing.

In a big way, it felt like a reunion, maybe even a home-coming. Back in the '80s, this club was a big part of my life, and these friendships gave my life a richness I had never before experienced. My wife was there too, and got to meet some of my old friends. And Brian, my crew chief, also a former club member from the old days, also received a warm welcome.

We also had Nick, the UMCA official, along with Ruth, Nick's wife. Ruth had been part of the SSC (Secret Support Crew) during the latter hours, guiding us into Marinette and the victory party at the finish.

After I gave my presentation, each crew member and official offered their own perspective on the experience. I was glad to have them there, as they were able to fill in many thoughts that I had left out, in addition to providing me with moral support (and they thought their job was all done at the finish line!).

Now, as the days get shorter and colder, my rides have also grown shorter and less frequent. I recently picked up a new indoor trainer, the Kurt Kinetic Rock & Roll trainer. This will help me during those long, cold winter days when I just don't feel like getting me and my bike all full of the winter slush.

My plan for next year? Well, I won't be attempting to break anymore cross-state records. I plan to compete in the annual 95-mile Race the Lake again in 2013, after taking a break from it this year. I also hope to complete at least one double-century, probably with a bunch of old friends who still organize one each year. And since we're all over 50, I'm sure there will be no crazy sprints involved. At least that's what we're all sayin'. ;)

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