Thursday, July 29, 2010


Saturday. You usually like that approaching day. You get to ride, sometimes with friends, and without the limitations of a schedule (or at least less limitations). And after riding you can relax, bask in the pleasant fatigue with those friends, remembering the past and relishing the future. It's, simply put, you time.

This Saturday is for someone else, and for hurting - not in the way that brings pride and stories, but in the way that can't be trained away or remembered fondly later. It's hurt born of a haunting fear made real.

We're a pretty big team, so I suppose statistics suggests that we'll have our losses. I'd say we've had more than our share, especially last year. I'd hoped that things would, put callously, average out. But, no. We've had, and I know we'll have again, wonderful highs, but this low is so deep. Can you see someone lose their child and not think of your own? We're empathetic people - we wouldn't be doing this if we weren't. We feel the hope of an end to finger pricks and site changes and giving a crap about A1C. We worry about someone going low while we ride, and we find ourselves carrying jelly beans and knowing where the nearest convenience store is, just in case.

And perhaps we think - we hope - that we're helping, but then, this. Not the thing on our jerseys. Not... anything. Just raw tragedy, something that no amount of miles ridden or letters sent or anything else can prevent, let alone reverse. There's no cure for this. There's no sense to this. It just is.

It sort of dawned on me that most of you don't know Stacey at all, but, well, you really do. I don't think I'd know many of you without her. I'd know Peggy and Jack and Herb through work, and maybe Cindy, but... probably none of the rest of you. No Scheidels or Andros or Howards or Fishers or Williamsons or Kaats or Peas or J2s or N2s or JDs or Mildogs or crap I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

I'd have a serious shortage of Clarks.

Stacey started this. Calling her an alpha rider doesn't do justice - I joined what she founded. We all did. It's evolved and grown, sure, but without the spark that put West Michigan on saddles back in 2005, there would be no... us.

So, Saturday, we'll ride again, in all our regalia, but slowly and quietly, for friendship and memory. For Stacey and Brad, Mazzy and Chloe. For Marley.

8 am rollout from VeloCity.


MC said...

Damn. I mean DAMN! Derek said everything I wish I'd had the empathy and strength to say.


Damn damn damn.

The strength that I'll need to get through this I'll get from you guys. The strength that we have access to is - any many ways - due to Stacey.

See you guys soon - whereever and whenever this is - I'll be damn glad!

Rob A said...

did...perfectly said.

I'm really sorry that I'll miss this. You will all be in my thoughts so ride safely and be strong for each other.