Reflections

8 Mar

Another winter season has come and gone. With the season past, some faces disappeared while new faces filled their spots in the community we have created. It was a pleasure working with so many new folks this year and even more pleasing to experience their enthusiasm when they’d share their personal improvements with me. I’ve mentioned Mark Dewart and David Wilkes in other posts. Even on the final night, folks were still improving, as evidenced by Frank Oboh who proudly informed me he hit a max cadence of 177 rpm. Frank is a big, strong man, a guy who ran a 1:47 800 meter in his prime. As such, Frank normally pushed bigger gears to keep up on the rides. You can imagine his delight and wonder at achieving those 177 rpms.

I mentioned our community; this group of people rides together, suffers together, and laughs together. The communal E’spirit de Corps was never more evident than in an incident last night. Dan Cole, one of the founding members of this community, made the trip up from Bloomington to share some suffering, some laughter and some beer with his good friends. Before class even began, Dan’s seat post broke. We scrambled to remove Dan’s pedals from his bike and swap them out with one of the standby bikes in the PitFit facility, ensuring Dan would get his workout along with all his friends.

And last night’s final class of the season was a reflection on the past and the future. Our dear friend, Dr. Karl Raynor, passed away last spring, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts. Karl eptitomized what this group is about; a heart of gold and the strength of two riders. Whenever one of the group was having an off day, there was Karl to shepherd them through the ride. Whenver one of the group was feeling frisky, there was Karl to track them down. Outside of cycling, Karl was always the first to respond to a request for help, offering his incredible strength or one of his valuable resources, as necessary.

Yet Karl was not without his mercurial side. His sense of humor and quick wit often led to the trash talking so often affectionately bantered among group members, thus giving rise to the team name, Treachery and Deceit. As the name implies, do whatever it takes to beat your buddy to the next imaginary finish line. But the name is also one of tongue in cheek humor, reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously.

To honor Karl’s everlasting mark on each and every one of us, Dr. Adam Perler designed a special T&D Tribute Kit. Note the Gold Heart on each sleeve in the photo above. And also note Sandy Raynor at the center of the photo. Yesterday was also Sandy’s birthday. Those of us in this community were proud to share our suffering and our camaraderie with Sandy this winter. We look forward to sharing the road with her in the upcoming warmer months. As Karl would have done for any of us, we all will be there for Sandy as she navigates her way forward, one pedal stroke at a time.

As we transition to the outdoor season, remember your ride buddies; offer that water bottle when necessary; offer a draft as needed, give a push here or there. Cycling is a lifestyle choice we embrace. We appreciate each other’s commitment and each other’s sacrifice. Remember the feeling of inclusion you had this winter and take action when called upon.

Thank you to all of you who made this such an enjoyable winter. I’ll see you on the road soon.

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One Response to “Reflections”

  1. Dan March 9, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    Many thanks to Bob and Larry for helping swap out my pedals and setting up the standby bike. It saved me to share share a great evening with several of my best friends in the world.

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