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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving

Today we committed with both money and mind to a new adventure. Next May we will be flying to Rome, taking a train to Valle, and riding 8 days. An Italian bike tour!  I've wanted to ride my bike in Europe since I bought my first 10-speed orange K-Mart special for $99 in 1972. That bike gave me freedom I had forgotten; as a young adult in the world it was my transportation and transformation and translation as I commuted from home to high school, one town to another, state to state, road to road, new digs to home.

Fast-forward to 2005, when I was challenged to help train a friend to ride further on a bike than I had ever imagined. I plunged into that challenge like I plunged into the Colorado River in Sweetwater in May -- never gave it a second thought and figured I'd know what to do once I got there. My friend achieved her goal and helped me achieve a goal I didn't even know I wanted -- finishing a century. And then dozens more, just because I could. I owe her a debt of gratitude. Via my bike and my friend I've made many more solid friends, seen more than I thought my eyes could see, and grown more than I had thought possible. Thanks, Kameo! (And others; you know who you are.)

And from there Chris got into cycling, first on a tandem, then on a road bike, and then we started racing, holy cow how much adrenaline can we stand coursing through our bodies!  A tandem time trial is off the charts! Good thing I mastered Lamaze breathing; it comes in handy when you're screaming downwind, downhill at 50+ mph. That first place podium is so worth it! (Said with tongue firmly planted in cheek; it paid $20 and a t-shirt; whoop-dee-doo.)

Kameo continued racing seriously; Chris and I started touring on the tandem. San Francisco to Santa Barbara (epic!), Austin, TX, to Shiner, TX; Shiner to Victoria, TX; Victoria to Cuero.

After a couple years off due to our career obligations (for which we both signed on voluntarily) we're going to do this Apennines to Adriatic in 2014. I still can't believe it's going to happen -- and I'm over the moon that we're going to do it, with a couple with whom we've forged a sold bond over the last few years.  I can hardly wait!

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