Sunday, March 13, 2016


I once told someone my biggest fear was that I would break a leg and not be able to ride my bike.  The thought of being on a couch (especially during spring or summer) would be enough to drive me insane.  To be completely fair...if I were confined to a couch for an extended period of wife would be the one going insane.  I'm not necessarily the best patient.  Well...I guess both she, and I, are going to find out.  

Soaking in as much as I can on what would, more than likely, be my last ride for a few months -- March 13, 2016
In the back of my head, I've always known that, considering how active I am, my body would someday, somehow, give out.  According to my doctor, the problems with my back aren't a result of anything I've done.   He just said, "Sometimes, life happens."  Life is funny like day you are buying a new mountain bike and the next day you are getting ready to have back surgery.  I think the hardest part of this for me is that, even though I can't walk or stand for more than five minutes without wanting to cry, I can still ride my bike without any pain.   The doctor says it's because my bike spreads me out and relieves pressure on my spine.   So, before my "procedure" on Wednesday, I thought I'd get out on my new Stumpy, enjoy the unusually warm March temperatures, and play on the local trails at the Lakes and Rocky Ridge.  

Enjoying the Lakes with Chris Keller -- March 12, 2016
Wrapping up our ride at the Lakes -- March 12, 2016
Chris Keller and I met at the Lakes yesterday afternoon for eight miles of single track fun.  We began with a ride across the dam, up trail #1, and then back down the goat trail...followed with our standard ride around Lake Williams.  We hit a few muddy and swampy sections of trail on the northwest side of the lake...but considering the time of year...I'm not sure the riding conditions could have been any better.  It was nice to spend time with Chris, too.  He's a busy guy and isn't always able to get out on the trails as much as he wants to....but it doesn't show.  He's one of the best riders I know.

Mike Alicea and I taking a break on trail #8 just to soak in the scenery -- March 13, 2016
This morning, my next door neighbor, Mike Alicea, and I hit the trails at Rocky Ridge County Park.  Our intention was to beat the rain that the local weather guys predicted for late morning.  We DID beat the rain to the parking lot...but by time we headed down trail #8 the drops began to fall pretty hard.  It was nothing to cancel our ride over, but it was enough to make the rocks (and there are a lot of rocks at Rocky Ridge) slick.  Half way through trail 8 I stopped just to listen.  There's something remarkably peaceful about hearing raindrops in the woods...just take listen for yourself!

Mike and I meandered thought the park for a little over an hour...the whole time I tried to soak in and appreciate as much as I could...knowing that this would be it for a while.   I know there's nothing to worry about.  I have friends who are battling much more than this.  I'll be okay.  No one wants to have any type of surgery...but I really want to be able to take an evening walk around the block with my wife without any pain.  To me, to be able to do that, is definitely worth hanging up my mountain bike for a few months.  

Life is a journey, not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- March 13, 2016