29 May 2011

An angel on my shoulder?

g3Today is A Day. One of those days you put in capitals because it just seems right. Not just a day; it's A Day.

Today would have been my parents' 62nd wedding anniversary. That in itself is awesome and worth remembering; they made it to 61, something most people never see.

Today is also the day that my blogging & Facebook friend Gael is gathering with her family to honor her brother Dan, who died far too young on December 13, 2010.

I never met Dan, but I know I would have liked him. I know most of you would have liked him, and if you go back and read the archives of the blog she's been keeping dedicated to his memory, you'll see why. He was a standup guy and a wonderful brother, and he is deeply missed.

Dan was also a motorcycle rider.

There's a tradition in biking; when one of you has fallen, those left behind drop their rear pegs and take a ride in memory of the lost rider. Some strap a helmet to the passenger seat, facing backwards.

I dropped my shiny new bike off at the dealership on Thursday and left it there so that it could get its 500 mile service done this weekend and won't be able to pick it up until Tuesday, but I still have the Gladius sitting in the garage. So this afternoon I backed it out and fired it up, dropped the rear pegs, and off I went.

Now, the Gladius is up for sale. After wiping out in the snow last December and wrecking my shoulder, the riding position of the little sport standard isn't especially comfortable anymore and long rides on it are out of the question. A short ride, sure. It's still a fun bike and if not for my aches and pains, I'd keep it.

But, there's a reason I'm selling it, and a few minutes into the ride I was clearly remembering why.

My initial plan had been to take the back roads from Dixon into Vacaville, a fairly short ride that would have had me out for about 45 minutes. But the wind is a little stronger than I like, and I was fighting with my back and shoulder, so I turned onto a street that cuts through the backside of town and decided I would stay close to home.

Still, I was fighting the wind and fighting the aching, and when I made the turn onto the street that would cut right through town, I swear I felt a hand slap my shoulder and a voice I've never heard before say quietly, "Just go home."

I shrugged it off to a shoulder spasm and thought I would loop around town a few more times, but that was a persistent voice. "Go home. It's all right."

I went home.

It was definitely a short ride; 20 minutes, tops, and less than 10 miles. I pulled into the driveway feeling like I should be disappointed that I didn't ride longer and farther, but I wasn't. I took the ride I was supposed to take. And I felt like someone was making sure I didn't do anything stupid.

In a few minutes I'm heading out to walk; my training for this years' SGK 3 Day is kicking into gear, and while it's breezy out, it's still a beautiful day to be out there pounding the pavement.

Most definitely A Day.


The Whiskeratti said...

Glad you listened. Prolly saved you from something unpleasant.

Angel, Kirby and Max said...

Yes you had an angel on your shoulder and you were wise to listen to him!

Roses said...

I'm glad you went out for Dan.
And I'm glad he gave you a good smack. ;-)

Lemon Stand said...

An Angel on your shoulder.

Just Ducky said...

It is best to listen to those little voices on your shoulder.

caircair said...

I know Dan appreciated your effort, he just didn't want you getting hurt on his behalf.

gizzylaw said...

He was with you. He knew that if things aren't perfect you stop. That made him the excellent rider that he always was.
Keep him on your shoulder, always.
He is now your brother, too.
I love you more than you know.
Thank you.