"Thus I set free the tears which before I repressed, that they might flow at will, spreading them out as a pillow beneath my heart. And it rested on them…" St. Augustine.
No one likes to be around, "that guy," you know, the one, "bummer-man" always delivering the dark cloud to the party…hell, I never want to be that guy, but on today's Friday Dawn Patrol, I was "that guy." It's especially awkward when there are only two people on a ride and one of them is in a haze of grief (that would be me). My friend is dying: she leaves behind 3 beautiful children and a loving husband.
Today's FDP was a mixed dirt / road ride: weapons of choice; Salsa Fargo, and Willits CX w/fat tires (both set up CX style with mountain bike tires…call it Monster Cross if you want). The plan was to meet near the Albertsons at the corner of Jamboree and Santiago and ride the Oaks, getting me back to Into work around 7:00.
Rolling out of the house at 5:00 am, I kept repeating to myself, "gotta be ready to ride without being bummer-man"…"OH CRAP!" I just about creamed that runner in the bike lane coming towards me without a light or reflective clothing! I'd better get my head in the game.
Meeting at the corner, the usual morning greetings were exchanged, "morning," "morning, howzit?" I quickly thought of saying, "good," and getting the ride on, but instead, I blurted out my feelings and thoughts...DOH!!! Bummer-man, he delivers…Gracious as usual, Brian offers condolences and we head into the Oaks.
We head through some swoopy single-track in the lowers, head up Chutes, and turn right on the ridge towards Deer and out towards Weir Canyon. It was good to ride hard this morning…no time to wallow in sorrow, when your slobbering on yourself, trying to stay on someone's wheel, climbing towards Anaheim Hills. Sunrise, and the lights turn off, a little hike-a-bike, and we're at the backside of the Weir Canyon Loop. Hanging a right onto a little peak, we drop onto a steep little ridge with a chunkiness thrown into the mix. On the Fargo with Woodchipper drop-bars and a rigid fork, it made for a fun little DH segment. From there it was a quick spin back out the way we came.
Pedaling the road into work, my heart was still heavy, but the ride, and more importantly, good company, did me well today.