Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...."

(That's the first song I learned on the gee-tar, by the way)

So........7:20 (or so) on Tuesday Night, the 5th day of the 8th month of the year 2008. The trailer sits not 30 feet from where I do - stuffed to the gills w/ 21 bikes, duffles, tools and the other bits and pieces that belong to a group of people that I feel very privileged to call friends.


Full circle, in a way.

It was just 3 short (but packed!) years ago that the Asheville Ride to Cure was witness to the first-ever appearance of the brand-spankin' new West Michigan Team. Derek was there. And Ann. And Andrea, and Julia, and Maria and Brian and Mike and Rod (get well soon, buddy!) and Stacy. (Oh yeah - and me). The weather was "iffy"...kinda wet and not all that warm. I remember that Ann had her jacket on for the whole ride. I had no idea what I was doing or even what I was supposed to do but somehow we had this powerful, awesome and life-altering weekend and well..............here we are. Some of those folks are still on the Team, som ehave been (and hopefully will be again) and some, sadly, we don't get the pleasure of riding with these days. Still.....as far as I'm concerned they'll always be on the Team and due to that, they'll always have a chunk of my heart. I swear I have NO idea what I'd be doing if I'd said "no" when Ann called me all those months ago. (I had every intention of doing just EXACTLY that, just not to Ann) I've had a significant percentage of the best moments in my 51-some years with this Team at these Rides and having missed out on that would have sucked at a level that does not bear contemplation.

So......travel safe Team mates! I'll see you down in NC and we'll have us a time! As for you DV-ers, and any other Michigan-bound members of our extended family - you be safe too! Fear not, we'll represent ya'll well down yonder 'neath that Mason Dixon Line and we'll come back w/ the bar raised and w/ stories to tell!

Gotta go! Lots to do before we hit the road and even more to be done once we hit A-Ville and I wouldn't have it ANY other way!



Nicole said...

Sniff, sniff. Wow. Mike, you always do that to me just when I'm not expecting it--say something that really brings home why we're all here, and why we all ended up on this team together, through a thousand different factors and inspirations. This team is truly made of the most amazing people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

I'm ridiculously jealous of y'all heading down to Asheville this weekend. Have a rip-roaring time, and remember that each and every mile will bring you a new, great memory to cherish about this ride. I can't wait to read Twitters and blogs and everything else you send our way.

Safe travels, my friends.

Brian J. said...

I swear this feels like Christmas Eve...I'm so geeked up I can hardly stand it!