30 Rides – Day 25 (Dave)

I don’t really understand today……

I came back from the ride today and sat down outside with my special lady friend. She was just getting back from a run at about the same moment I got back from my ride. We sat outside and chatted about her run and my ride. I proclaimed to her, as we sat chatting, that my legs are really feeling good. Today’s ride was probably the most physically fun ride since this 30/30 thing began. 

I know since like Day 5 or something I keep writing that the legs are really coming back. Today was their best performance yet.

In fact, I was commiserating with a riding friend the other night over text about this riding thing I’m doing. I basically explained I’m just turning pedals trying to regain consistency for a bit. My fitness is slowly coming back, but I have much to do.

He lamented himself about how he just hasn’t been able to get in as many rides as he hoped for by now and is just going to have to take his lumps once we all get back at the group ride. He went on to say that “the guys” are trying to lineup the first group ride next weekend out of the shop. 

Uh oh.

Am I ready for that?  Maybe, maybe not. However, I quickly decided that if the ride happens I’ll show up. It will really let me know where I’m at, very quickly. Not everybody will be in top form at this time of year and worst case I drop off with a few other “B groupers”  for the coffee ride.  

I wonder how long I’ll be able to hang with Dave before I start thinking of a way out. Will he take it easy on us since it’s the first ride? Of course he will, he just wants to get everybody together. It’s been so many months since we all rode. Last I saw everybody was the week before my surgery. Gonna be so stoked to see everybody. Show off my robo-shoulder.   

Now, Dave is the guy that kind of pulls the ride together. Keeps everybody in line. He is a superior cyclist. When I first got into cycling with guys who were really cycling Dave was the dude. He was so strong. Kind of locally mythical.

He displayed this endurance and deep digging on a bike that I had not personally seen before.  Yet, Dave was never a dick. For sure, he could be stern to some riders but only for purposes of ensuring a safe ride for everybody. He wanted everybody to have a great, fun safe ride. 

I remember one cold, early season ride Dave being on my wheel and yelling to me “Big John, I could sit here all day behind you. It’s like sitting on a couch back here.”  (I’m way bigger than the average 140 lb. cycling bear.) 

Dave humored me and let me pull a bit more until he couldn’t resist his impulses and swung around in front to pick the pace up again, back to Mach-Dave.  Then, late that season after I had leaned up he wound up on my wheel again and yelled “Where did you go? This isn’t fun anymore behind you, there’s nothing there to hide behind.” Dave pulled me through more than a few dark places over our handful of years riding together. So yea, I was excited to get to the group ride next week and see Dave and the guys. 

Charlie, one of the guys, called me earlier today after my ride. Turns out Dave passed away.  Yesterday I think. After a ride it sounds like. Doesn’t matter. It didn’t make any sense. What? No. What? Dave? Yea, but we’re talking about the group ride next weekend. How is Dave going to get there now? I don’t understand. Dave? What?