15 March 2022

Memories and Goals

This gem popped up in my memories last Thursday and nearly brought me to tears. Happy tears, and intensely sad tears.

I remember sitting on pins and needles each year near midnight, waiting for the Ride the Rockies route to be announced. Not being able to sleep until we could see the new route. Then waiting on pins and needles to find out if we'd been drawn. Training like crazy in hopes we'd be ready if we were drawn. Then training like crazy the years we were drawn.

Ride the Rockies is no longer a lottery. It doesn't sell out anymore, so we can just register and be in. That's exciting, but it also takes away some of the anticipation. And it eliminates the overwhelming disappointment a registrant would experience when they learned six weeks later they had not been drawn. Ask me how I know that story so well... Eight times, I didn't get drawn. But eight times, I did!

Our cycling springs and summers were such a way of life. A real struggle some years with my own health issues, but always something Lizard and I could do together. Something we always looked forward to together. And now just memories. That's where the sadness comes in. We now know we might not be able to do another Ride the Rockies. We decided last year not to let go of our dreams, but to create new dreams.

We watched the virtual Ride the Rockies route announcement this year and were horrified to learn the ride had been sold yet thrilled to learn the new management is making the newer option of a one-day route (started perhaps three years ago) available every single day of the weeklong ride. We fantasized about picking our favorite day of the ride and riding just that day, as far as Lizard can go. If he made it only five or ten miles, it would still be better than staying home and sitting on the couch. Watching YouTube videos weeks later of other riders' experiences.

This year's route didn't really appeal to us, and I'd already signed Lizard up for the Triple Bypass, which has been moved from July to August. That's his favorite ride, and The Triple also offers a shorter route option this year. Lizard has an additional month to train, too, to ride however far he can.

We really loved last year's Ride the Rockies route, which was supposed to be the 2020 route, which, of course, had to be postponed. We thought life might be returning a little to normal then, but, thanks to Parkinson's rigidity, Lizard twisted his knee getting out of bed one winter morning just a little more than a year ago and couldn't even walk for six weeks while the torn miniscus settled down and the stress fracture healed. We'd been walking for approximately 73 consecutive days when he got grounded. The one-year annivesary of our brand new walking streak happens near the end of this month. Getting back on his bike took longer, and he had to start over from scratch when he finally was able to get back in the saddle.

We knew prior to his injury last year he probably wouldn't be able to do Ride the Rockies, so we planned our own little Ride the Rockies route. We were going to do two or three miles each day of Ride the Rockies, but at home, working our way around a nearby reservoir on new-to-us bike paths we'd discovered the winter before. Because of the injury, we couldn't even do that.

I shared my March 2017 memory on Facebook last week because it hit me so hard. My daughter (in another state and unaware at the time it was but a memory, not a new joyful announcement) showed it to her five-year-old daughter and told her all about Grandma and Grandpa riding up and down mountains every year. My granddaughter proudly announced she wants to go with us this year.

We can't do Ride the Rockies this year, and Lizard might not be able to do the entire Triple Bypass. But I'll bet we can do our own little Ride the Reservoir! And I bet I know a soon-to-be first grader who could complete that route right alongside us!

1 comment :

  1. New Dreams have to be, these bodies of ours get older and issues occur but dreams are always worth making reality if possible. God bless and take care


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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