Monday, August 16, 2010

3rd annual, 4 Canyons of Fun

Every summer i like to spend a long Saturday with friends climbing the 4 major canyons in the salt lake valley.
Last Saturday was the day for this years fun filled event.
Seven of us met at the mouth of little cottonwood canyon at 6 am.
Temperatures started out nice and cool and we started climbing.
Little cottonwood was recently repaved, so it was nice and smooth going up and really fast coming down.
Big cottonwood was fine and a guy with a broken chain at storm mountain provided a short break while we helped him get fixed and rolling again.
The second half of Millcreek was painful and demoralizing as usual. I can never tell when the canyon is actually going to end.
Emigration Canyon was just hot.

This year was slower than years past and was much more painful for several reasons.
My fitness isn't where it has been in years past. I had an 11-28 cassette and found myself looking for another gear.
As i climbed up little cottonwood canyon, i couldn't help but think about the first time i climbed little cottonwood on my bike. The Doctor dragged me up it.
I remember riding on the shoulder and in the gravel, hoping that i would get a flat so i could stop pedaling for a few minutes. I was cursing him the whole ride.
You see, the Doctor was the one that got me into cycling.
We have ridden more miles together than i care to remember. Some mornings we meet up, say "where do you want to go", ride for 90 minutes without saying another word except "goodbye" and other mornings, we would talk for the whole ride.
I have always envied his aggressive, attacking style of racing. Something that i have never been able to do. He is acting the same way with his recovery.
It will be a little while before me and the Doctor are able to ride together again.
With his attitude, i don't think it will be too long.
He is so positive and ready to get on with life and not dwell on the fact that he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and had his leg amputated. He considers himself extremely lucky to be where he is.
Until he is able to get on a bike again, i am expecting him to follow us in a car on our group training rides passing out homemade cookies. I am a little worried since it was his right leg that was amputated, so he will need to learn to drive with his left foot. I figure i will probably get bumped from behind a few times for the first little while until he gets the hang of driving again.
Luckily he got rid of his car with a manual transmission a few months ago.
As we climbed Millcreek canyon, i hadn't thought much about it until we rounded the corner and came upon Log Haven, where Luke and Bunny had their wedding reception. The rest of the ride, I stopped thinking about the Doctor's stump, and thought about Bunny, Luke and the Girls.
I am a very shallow person that doesn't think much, but 7+ hours on a bike gives you some time to ponder a few things.
Life, death, loved ones, health, mercury in retrograde, legs, family, God, chocolate milk, pain, charity.
I couldn't help but realize that I am extremely blessed.

At the end of Emigration, instead of riding home, I headed to the Huntsman Cancer Institute to see the Doctor. He was positive and a lot more coherent than the night before. He had gotten over his urge to punch the anesthesiologist in the face because the epidural didn't work.
He ended up leaving the hospital to go home Sunday morning.

Zach just started riding a bike this year and he did all 4 canyons. That was pretty impressive. As impressive as Zach's ride was, the most impressive ride to me on Saturday was Parker.
This kid only rode the first 2 canyons but watch the video and see his sweet bike.

No comments: