A tour through the five boroughs of New York City, in fact. Tomorrow I leave for the Big Apple with “buzzin” (beloved cousin) Cara and her husband Aaron. We’ll meet up with “other buzzin” Kirby (Cara’s sister) and her boyfriend Philip. Aaron, Philip and I will do the ride, with about 30,000 other bicycle riders---a 42 mile jaunt through all five boroughs (for you non-New-Yorkers, that’d be Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island). So we’ll be riding through the canyons of Manhattan skyscrapers, the greenery of Central Park, and the neighborhoods and bridges of the other famous boroughs.
This is an official “run to the fire” event in several ways. Dana and I have loved New York City. We have loved our “buzzins.” And we have loved to bike. When we were first married some friends gave us some old bikes. They were 10-speeds, but old. We decided to see if we actually enjoyed biking before we decided to purchase new bikes. Before long, we were true biking enthusiasts. So our first, and perhaps only, high-end purchase as a couple was two Cannondale hybrid bikes (part road, part trail bikes; bikes that came to be affectionately known as “the ‘dales”) ….and they were 21-speed bikes! Soon biking was our outlet: the country roads of Preble County, the flat trails of converted rail lines (Ohio is sorta famous for those, and we have several in our area), the beaches near Seaside, Forida, and sometimes our neighborhood streets in the spring and fall.
Our rides became a staple of our relationship. We would talk. We would laugh. We would process. We would dream. We talked theology. We talked about Pud.
They also accentuated our differences. I liked to see how straight I could ride, thus promoting efficiency. Dane liked to swerve and curve, promoting asymmetry. I liked to avoid trail detritus. Dane loved to crunch, seeking twigs, leaves, etc., to snap under her tires. At times of silence, while we rode past nicely quaffed farm fields, Dane would be thinking about “the love” and I’d be wondering how they got those corn rows so straight. I liked wide open, sun drenched trails. Dane liked riding through the cool tunnels of overhanging trees. We both came to love and embrace each other’s riding philosophy, which was a great picture of our relationship.
Over the last couple of years our rides became a rebellion against all we were facing. “Take THAT chemo” we’d say, as we clicked off a 35-mile ride between Waynesville and Yellow Springs.
And so this Sunday I will be riding on my Cannondale. Aaron or Philip will be riding Dane’s. We’ll be riding in a tour that Dana and I had our eyes on doing together. We’ll be riding in a city Dana and I both loved. I can’t wait to spend time with Cara and Kirby and Aaron and Philip. We’ll remember our sweet Dane. We will laugh. We will cry. I will seek out some twigs to crunch, and will certainly be thinking about “the love.”
I will run to the fire. Or in this case, ride.