Thursday, February 26, 2009


It’s comeback time, ladies and gentlemen. (I hope you noticed the optimism in that statement – I said ladies and gentlemen implying a belief that I have at least four readers). Lance Armstrong has raced his first American race in several years. Floyd Landis has ridden his first stage race in two years. I am back riding the bike after my appendectomy.

One of these things is not like the others

One of these things just doesn’t belong

Can you tell which thing is not like the others

By the time I finish my song?

Now, I know that it might embarrass Lance and Floyd to be mentioned in the same paragraph as me, but since they’ll never read this, I don’t suppose it matters a whole lot. I suppose each one of them has a moment that, for him, will mark, in his own mind, that his comeback is real. There will be that moment when he’ll think, “Yes, I’m back.” I have that moment, too. Well, really, I have two of them.

The first one will be when I ride Bike Route 40 from…well, I can’t say from start to finish because it’s a circle, more or less, but you get the idea. I was originally only going to have one such mental landmark, and then I went on a ride with Jerry, and Jerry said, “I’m going to ride Bridge to Bridge this year,” and I found my mouth, without bothering to consult my brain first, saying, “I’ll ride it with you.”

Say what?

I rode Bridge to Bridge four years ago, in 2005 (thus proving I can do simple arithmetic) and the experience is still green in my memory. Some things, you don’t forget. I have this distressing feeling, though, that my memories are not accurate. I suspect that I’ve blocked out the real pain and suffering that were involved. Well, I guess I’ll find out this September.

Mind you, I’m a long way from Bridge to Bridge right now, in every conceivable way. Geographically it’s across the state. Chronologically there are many months to go. Physically…oysh. Physically I am in another state of being. I got up and rode a mere fifteen miles at sunrise the other day and I felt it that evening. Oh, well, from little seeds mighty acorns sprout and from short rides longer rides are born, or something like that.

So now I have two goals for my comeback…well, to have a comeback I suppose you have to have been somewhere in the first place, and I’m not certain that applies to me, but why be picky?

Right now I am looking at the picture of myself near the top of Grandfather mountain. Below that is the patch I got for completing the Bridge of Bridge ride. In that picture I look at ease and even happy. That picture is lying. I was suffering like a dog and wishing the ride was over. When the ride finally was over, I couldn’t get off my bike for a while because I couldn’t lift either leg high enough to get it over the top tube.

And this is the ride that I have chosen to do again…

Well, something tells me I’d better get riding. I have a lot of miles to ride before I reach the base of the mountain, right?

See you on the road.

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