Sunday, June 20, 2010
Sometimes life forces us to reverse rolls, and roll with it! Two weekends ago was "America's most beautiful bike ride" on June 6. A 72 or 100 mile ride route around Lake Tahoe. Your choice. Or if you are me... and realize you haven't ridden beyond 20ish in over a year, and need to resist the urge to join the Team-in-Trainers, the novice riders, the "never ridden this far before" crowd, and stop at a designated point... you do 30 miles.
Now I know that I'm supposed to be proud, and I know I would coach and preach the positive aspects of the fact that just under a year ago I was in a wheelchair, but it still hurt. The most wonderful part of that weekend, was seeing my sister, a working out healthy woman, that hasn't ridden much on the road, and never ridden beyond 20 miles herself in one batch... successfully go around the lake spontaneously. We had planned to both ride to "Sunnyside" -30 miles from our Condo in South Lake, and she was so strong... with tears in my jealous eyes of desire to be the leader, the coach, the advocate for going beyond ones limits, resisted continuing, and encouraged her to reach a goal that she didn't know she could reach. My nice friend Louisa was already on her way to play SAG (support and gear) vehicle, and come rescue me at said Sunnyside stop.
Now before we parted, Cathy and I made it up the Emerald Bay climb to the most stunning view of Lake Tahoe out there, (tied with the Flume trails view of Sand Harbor). After we summited, Cathy was able to reach for her water bottle and drink while still riding. A skill that many road riders don't have - and like an experienced touring or racing goddess, with giggles of joy that she crossed that line, after a tad of coaching from myself - this win was a big one. Previously we needed to stop on the side of the tour, and drink while "parked". This is the type of skill I try to emphasize is important for safety, health and hydration, and basic bike handling skills that are important. This was a win for both of us, and now she is unstoppable. Seriously - she just kept going!
Like the tortoise and the hare, the rest of our fast century-riding-group of guys averaging 18miles per hour for the 100 miles of high altitude, w/ 2 large hills, would see her at rest stops, think she was me (as at this point she was riding my bike now, and still wearing her SLaB jersey)... to realize that smiling woman was my amazing sister! Even though I'm the younger, I'm used to being the encourager for bike adventures... and now I'm am the one forced to listen to my body and physical therapist, and not push my knee and ankle beyond it's recovery limits. Grrrr. A tough mental space to be in, but a joyous one to see what is possible, and see not only my sister, but novices of less fitness than either of us, with good causes in mind such as raising funds for the Leukemia Society - carry the inspirational torch for a bit. It's my turn to get encouraged and see the inspiration, not my turn to inspire.
Weird reverse in my life. I'm trying to keep my eye on the future, and continue forward, and take note of the advances, not the backwardness of it all. After all, that is what SLAB is all about isn't it?!