My neighbor Billy got me into cycling some 20-odd years ago. He had a fancy 1987 Trek 400 Elance (still does) that he upgraded with cool black and yellow Mavic components. He helped me through my first Chili-Hilly and STP. The year I graduated college I rode from Seattle to San Francisco, with Billy helping me plan the route.
A couple weeks ago was Billy’s 40th College Reunion at St. Mary’s College in the bay area. How did he get there? He rode his bike. I don’t know exactly how old Billy is, but he’s had his share of bumps and bruises keeping him from riding as much as he’d like of late. I spent a couple nights at his place upgrading his Trek with some gearing to get him over the hills by the redwoods and making sure that everything was ready for the trip. He ended up splitting the trip into two week-long legs, but he made it. The ride of his life is Paul Sherwin’s over-used quip that you hear on any tour stage. For Billy, this 800mile trip was truly the ride of his life. He lost 30 pounds, feels years younger, and has a whole new collection of biking memories to keep him pounding out the miles. Congrats on a great ride Bill!