Scars are little reminders of life's
journey I suppose and at my age I have a few of them.
My recovery however this week was spurred on by a remarkable and unsuspected show of great love and friendship.
I took my broken bike to First Flight Bikes this week where our buddy Wes Davidson is the local genius. Please check them out for your next bike, upgrade or repair at firstflightbikes.com
The forks were sheared off, my front wheel is toast and some other minor injuries. Not a total loss, but bikes can be a little pricey to repair. Wes diagnosed the damage and informed me of the price which came as no surprise.
As you might imagine, a 45 minute trip to the hospital in an ambulance and 14 hours of CAT scans, minor surgery and care from nurses and doctors in a level 1 emergency room came with a hefty bill and even though we have good insurance, we don't have alot of extra laying around to repair a broken bike.
I was resigned to wait it our for several months and slowly save along the way with the hopes of getting back on the road by spring.
But, this week changed that plan. I've been riding a bike since I was 5 years old. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood in the 70's revolve around my Schwinn Varsity and the friends whom I joined on micro-adventures all around town. Having a bike brought a kid freedom to move around, to go to the store and get a mountain dew or to visit new roads and see stuff that from a car just doesn't do it justice.
But it was the friends that made it memorable.
That has not changed. I suppose at 52 I still ride with people, because cycling is best enjoyed with others. Over the last 3 years I've come to know so many new friends through cycling. I've also reconnected with old friends from my childhood, the Schwinn Varsity crowd. It is literally something I look forward to each and every week.
And something amazing has grown out of that, a community. Communities are not just groups of people. I suppose the defining characteristic of community is the network of support and communication that comes with it, relationships.
A few years ago, I planned a little ride on a Sunday with a few friends to establish an F3 workout on bkes. F3 stands for Fitness, Fellowship and Faith and seeks to develop male community leadership through planting free small group workouts.
With that what is now called F3 GoatDog cycling was formed, aptly named for a goat and a dog who resided together in a small pasture on one of our routes. Oh, yeah they would chase us as we rode by from their side of the fence. Hec, we even have jersey's. Now that community has grown to a size and depth I never imagined.
So, last night as I got home from a very productive day serving great american veterans at Purple Heart Homes (A blog post will come later about this) I was surprised with a visit.
Not one of my friends, not 2, but a kitchen full of unexpected visitors. People just kept pouring in, to over a dozen. I had no idea and neither did Tammy. Names like ManYanna, Davinchi, Ray Ray, Maytag, Matlock, Sprinkles, BayRoos, Sonny and Cher, Frasier, Gomer and Wolfpup. In this community everyone gets a nickname and they all mean something important.
If I forgot anyone, please remember I'm recovering from a severe concussion. I know way more folks were involved in this than those in my kitchen. Thank you all.
After a few minutes of me being very uncomfortable, it got worse. Cher took the floor and said some really kind words and declared that this wonderful community had come together and raised money to repair my broken bike. Even now as I write these words my emotions well up deep inside. They handed me a big ceremonial check (My first ever that I will frame) that was made out to me. The memo line it says "Heal your wheels". The signature is however greater than the dollar figure and it means so much more.
It simply reads "Your friends"
My friends raised money for me to fix my bike so we can all ride together again.
I'm not sure what I did to deserve such a great gift, not of money but of people.
“Words are easy, like the wind; Faithful friends are hard to find.”
― William Shakespeare,