I have reinvented myself several times during the course of my life. If I could leave one bit of advice to my children and any other young person that will listen it is this,
Whatever you are doing today, it most like will not what you will be doing tomorrow. You can either wait until someone else decides your fate or you can choose the path that you want to take.
I have always thought of myself as an artist and a cyclist. I have had other roles in my life, son, brother, husband, dad, and a coworker at a few companies. Some of those roles I was born into and others I sort of stumbled into with the exception of being an artist and cyclist. I chose and continue to strive to be an artist and a cyclist as a way of allowing me to be the best that I can be in my other roles that I have.
Lately I have been struggling to maintain my role as a cyclist. I am coming out of my second major bicycling accident that I have had in the last two years. Bouncing back after being hit by a car was the hardest thing that I had to overcome psychologically. Overcoming the fear of being hit again while riding my bike was a hard thing to over come, but I did. Falling off of my mountain bike and striking a rock and snapping my femur in two right at the ball joint was a real shock. I am taking longer to recover my strength after a hip replacement than I did after my vascular abdominal surgery.
So today after work I decided to ride my bike to work and back. I recently got transferred to a different group in the IT department where I work. Albany State University and Darton College have been consolidated. Right now there are two campuses, East (the original ASU campus), where I use to work and West (the former Darton campus) where I started working this week. The West Campus is closer to my home and takes about 10 minutes to get to in my truck as compared to 30 minutes drive to the East Campus. I have taken the short commute to work on my road bike to the East campus and it is about 9 miles. The trip one way to the West campus is about 4.7 mikes. I can ride this route on my bicycle in my sleep with ease. 26 inch tires are not my favorite, but they will do for now.
I love riding a bike. Let me repeat this, I love riding a bike. In all of the roles of my life I have owned and ridden a bicycle. I am fortunate to have three bicycles at the moment. I have a bike for every type of cycling I will ever do. I have my Trek Pure, cruiser bike, I have a Norco Torrent 7.2 mountain bike, and I have a Seven Cycles 622 SLX. Tonight and for the past month I have been riding my cruiser bike. My cruiser bike is a bike commuters dream bike, a Trek Pure Feet First.
|My Trek Pure has fenders,, perfect for rain.|
This evening as I rode through some of the neighborhoods that sustained damage from the storms I thought about how fortunate I was to live in a city that I have cycled all over for the past few years. I know all of the ways to get to and from work with or without getting on busy streets. When I take this bike commute route to work it will be the shortest bike commute I have ever had in my life. In the past I have been known to take the long way to work, but for the near future I will be taking the most direct and safest route to work. Sometimes it is the little things that make life so sweet.
So this is an introduction to my new nick name. I am adding Ti to my Cycle Thunder moniker. I have always loved titanium as a material for bicycles, and now I have titanium for my body parts.
Cycle Ti Thunder is me, riding just behind the lightning like thunder with a titanium hip joint. I am not going to push myself by setting any mileage or speed goals like I have done in the past. I am just going to enjoy the wind in my face as I ride my bicycle. One of the memories from my accident that I will always cherish is the times when I was leaving my orthopedic surgeons office. I would be in the elevator and other women patients much older than I with canes would hold the elevator door while I got off with my walker. then they would pass me and make their way to their car. I would try to keep up with them,, but they would leave me in the dust.
It has been over four months since I had my hip replaced. I can appreciate so much more in my life, like walking and caring a cup of coffee without my wife’s help. I will never take riding a bicycle for granted.