So many of you have commented and emailed with support for Susan and me. Thank you for that. It never would have occurred to me that this blog would be such a rich source of good friends, but you all have been the best. Again, thank you. (On a related note, I just renewed the fatcyclist.com domain for three years. So yes, I’m sticking around.)
Tuesday, when this whole bombshell got dropped on us, I did my best to be the strong guy — take care of my wife, take care of business, take care of the kids, take notes at the doctor’s.
You can only do this for so long.
Luckily, I have some good friends. At 4pm Tuesday, Dug, Botched, and I hit the Draper singletrack, where I discovered — to a greater degree than I ever have before — one of the most important, wonderful things about being on a bike:
When you’re riding hard, that’s all you can do.
When you’re in the red zone, all you can think about is turning the cranks. When you’re riding down technical, exposed, twisty singletrack, that’s all you can pay attention to. Essentially, riding a bicycle can be fully absorbing — a vacation from everything.
It’s like therapy, but cheaper. And more effective. And less creepy.
OK, I guess it’s not really any cheaper.
Anyway, yesterday we found out that the tumor in Susan’s hip is nasty and big enough that her hip’s in danger of fracturing; she needed to get on radiation pronto, in the hopes that we can shrink the tumor before her hip breaks. Cuz if the hip breaks, they have to operate to fix it, which would delay chemo. So we spent the morning getting Susan ready for that before I headed off to work.
Holy crap. I can’t believe I’m in the situation where I’m actually writing paragraphs like that.
By the end of the day, I needed — and I think I’m being completely honest when I say “needed“ — to get out on a ride. Alone.
I called Susan and asked her how long she could give me. She said, “Take as long as you need.” Yes, she really said that.
So here’s what I needed: oblivion. And I know exactly how to get it: climbing on the road, and lots of it. I went to the bottom of Suncrest and rode up the 3.5 mile, 1500-foot climb, then dropped down the other side. Then I pulled a U-turn and reversed my course.
And then I did it again. Two hours and fifteen minutes, 29 miles, 6200 feet of climbing (and the same amount of descending. The upshot? Completely wiped-out legs and a reclamation of my ability to hold things together.
Today, Susan’s getting a port-a-cath, tattoos on her hip to make it easy to align the machine for radiation, and her first radiation treatment. I wish I could send her out for a ride.
PS: Kenny’s writing up the story of his team’s big win at the 24 Hours of Vail Lake. I’ll be publishing that soon.
PPS: Dug, Bob, Botched and Al have all agreed to write some guest posts for my blog. Thanks, guys.
PPPS: I actually had a pretty funny idea of my own yesterday, so don’t be too surprised if I drop in with some (attempted) comedy sometime in the next couple days.
PPPPS: Today’s weight: 159.0