Thursday, April 22, 2010

Here’s to friends

Well, today starts my final year in my 40s.  That’s right!  I turn 49 today and life couldn’t be better.  Ok, if I was honest I would have to admit I might make a tweak or two but in the grand scheme of things life is good.

coffee One of the reasons life is so good is my cycling and the circle of friends it includes.  For family reasons I won’t go into, I did not make a lot of close friends growing up.  I was on FB the other day and it suggested that I see who else from my graduating high school class was on FB.  There are 204 classmates on FB and I only recognize about 5 names.  I guess that’s why there are not a lot, or any, reunion invitations coming my way but I am really ok with that.

From high school it was off to see the world with the US Coast Guard.  Of course I met a lot of people during my 10-year hitch but only had 3 close friends who I stay in touch with today.   This was really more to do with people transferring in and out of your life and less to do about making friends.  This was in the 80’s and I think I might have stayed more in touch with many of them if FB had been around in those days.

It was during this time that I met, and married, my best friend.  After nearly 24 years of marriage I can honestly say to this day that I would rather spend time with Sherry then anyone else.  Still, every couple needs that one thing they do apart to help them appreciate time together and that’s where cycling enters the picture.

LA and PK I did not start cycling until I was 42.  In the short 7-years since then I have met some wonderful people.   I have developed some deep and lasting friendships and had some truly amazing adventures and experiences.  I’ve logged close to 20,000 miles and most of time I was with one or more friends.  And, I’m not done.

While I love pushing the pace, practicing pace lines and trying ever harder climbs, my favorite ride is still one where I am riding side-by-side with friends.  The kind of ride where laughter is more important then heart rate.  Rides where reliving shared adventures takes the place of interval training.  You know, just riding for the joy of cycling.

And don’t even get me started on the pre or post ride coffee chats.  These are just as important to me as the rides themselves.  We go out of our way to make sure every ride starts at or near coffee.  Hell, I’ll even drink Starbucks if it means laughing with friends for a few minutes before we roll on to our next adventure.  In winter, it’s not unusual for us to design a ride around multiple coffee stops.  For recovery rides, there’s always Coach Tim’s Big Ring Coffee Ride, which means the first person who goes to the big ring buys coffee for everyone.

GGB Now it’s time to admit to one of the tweaks I would like to make in my otherwise great life.  I want to do more of those types of rides.  Over the last couple of years it seems my riding is taking on a much more serious nature and that needs to change a little.  I mean, come on!  I just turned 49 so I don’t think racing in the Tour of California is anywhere in my future.  No, I need to remember the real reason I ride and that it’s really about hanging with friends.

Being a man of action means I need to make this happen.  And happen it will!  Soon!  Until then, I will make the most of my big day today and wait to see what adventure awaits me on this Saturday’s ride.  If my friends are there, I’m sure it will be great.


3 Comment(s):

amy said...

hope the weather is good for you on your birthday!!

Anonymous said...

Loved your post lee. Enjoy your b day. Looks like a stellar day for a stellar guy. Enjoy

dan said...

well said. The same thoughts cross my mind every time i get on the trainer. "why am i doing this again?"

Happy Birthday!