The adrenaline was palpable as I realized the last time I pedaled this bike, this route, this time of day, even wearing this very same jersey, I knew by mile six something was very, very wrong. It was Bike to Work Day, and I'm the coordinator at the office where I work. I couldn't turn around and go back home. Co-workers are dependent upon me. They look up to me as a source of inspiration, enthusiasm, dedication and rugged determination. No one else in my office pedals as far - 30 miles one way. I had to get to work. And I had get there on my bike.
Two weeks later, I had a new diagnosis, and I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to ride again. If I did, I wasn't sure I would be able to ride more than down my driveway. I was pretty sure I wouldn't ever be able to wear a backpack again.
But here I was, 7.5 weeks later, pedaling in the dark, pedaling very slowly in the dark, but pedaling, wondering if the pain would return, wondering if the monster lens in my Camelbak would send my back into places I did not want to be. My goal was 20 miles round trip. 10 miles out. 10 miles back.
When I crested the top of the short hill I had to climb to see if I could, but also to attain the premiere sunrise view, tears once again flowed down my cheeks, but the emotions this time were different. Yes, there was pain, but not crippling. I'd made it!
The unplanned, unexpected shoot made for a great stretching break. I thought our impromptu stop would assure me a comfortable ride home. Not to be. The Lizard finally had to take my pack from me because my back was too sore make the final few miles while wearing the extra 10 or 15 pounds.
At home, prescription pain reliever once again knocked me out for several hours.
And then I felt better. I decided to try again. Probably not the brainiest thing I've ever done. But it was worth it. The weather was beautiful. We had plenty of time before dark.
Once again, the ride home was tortuous, and The Lizard once again carried my pack the final few miles. I did not ride the next day. I slept.
But I spent a day getting some of the most incredible photos of my summer so far, and I don't regret one single pedal stroke.
More photos tomorrow. And Thursday. See ya then.