I didn’t take up serious road cycling until the 2007. Before that, I’d ridden mountain bikes and an old Trek 400 road bike for four years that got me around, but not very fast.
So it wasn’t until I bought the Felt 4C carbon frame bike that I could motor fast enough to truly enjoy road cycling. Now I ride a Specialized Venge road bike with an aero frame and handlebars to match. It’s all good.
Today we rode 23 miles out in the rural country of the county where we live. It’s mostly flat terrain, but the roads are pleasant because there is so little traffic. My wife is coming off her last Half Ironman a week ago and her legs were a bit tired, but she still gets down in aero and motors along. So my buddy and I let her roll ahead as he’s just rolling into riding shape this year.
Fifty years on
My friendship with him goes way back to my junior year in high school. We met in cross country and ran together even through college. Then we lived together after we graduated and attended each other’s weddings. In fact he served as Best Man in the wedding to my late wife way back in 1985.
Our lives converged and diverged as lives often do. We’ve each raised kids and paid household bills with the best of them. But here we are fifty years later still riding together on a summer morning.
When I started dating after my late wife passed, I met a woman through eHarmony that joined me for a backyard party at the house of my friend. He was lead singer that day for the band he’d formed with some other dudes. They were actually really good. But my date that day was freaked out by the fact that I kept up friendships with guys that I’d known in high school. We parted ways after only a couple dates.
The woman I married not only “gets” our friendship, she has ridden with us so many times we’ve happily lost count. She has her own relationship with them. And that’s the mark of a trusted spouse.
But my friend is not one for social media exposure. So we’ll not be sharing a full photo of us together here. He’s one of the smartest people I know in many respects and knows quite a bit about the vagaries of online privacy, so I respect that.
But I’d be wrong not to credit him for encouraging me to take up cycling. He and another close friend from high school (another cross country teammate) were cyclists together for decades before I finally joined them in my forties. I was strictly a runner all those years.
So here’s to big skies, open roads and long-term friendships. All are good for the soul.