August 7th, 2013
The morning of my last full day in Vermont started with a very quick cup of coffee and a trip out to the woods with my brother and Putney to cut a new little dipsy doodle into the trails that he’s developing behind his house. I shot a little video for your amusement. By 10:30 or so we had made a really fun new section of trail. (no dogs or terminally ill people were seriously hurt in the making of this film).
I’m back in the city now. Hill and I packed up my brother’s car yesterday morning and drove back down. He’ll be following today on the train with Gunnar to spend a few days with me in the shop learning a bit about metal working. Given the overwhelming response to the pill flasks (has everyone gotten theirs?? How do they feel?), I’ve decided to go ahead and spend a few days making another run. I appreciate that you’re so into them! I’ll make 12 feet worth +/- with some help from Zach, and then I’ll move on to the next thing.
Vermont was just amazing. This time of year is really magic there. The produce is astonishing right now. Sweet corn tomatoes and green beans (we bought just that on the way out of town yesterday and ate it in out NYC backyard, just to stretch the VT for one more evening).
I feel as though I need to back track a little. The day that I arrived in VT, something happened. I threw my leg over the UTA and went out for a ride. The first I’ve been on since breaking my arm back at the end of April. The thing that I am having trouble getting across is that at the end of April, when I broke my arm, I was quite prepared to never ride mountain bikes again. I’m very sick after all. I have weeks to months to live. Or I did a few months ago, anyway (??!). I assumed that by the time the arm healed up, I would be far to sick to ride. SO, when the X-ray tech RE-BROKE my arm a month into healing, I really figured that all bets were off. Yet.. I hopped on, and Todd and I went out onto Zach’s little trails and had a very very brief little ride. Just 25 minutes.. Just to see.. And it was fine!! My arm was fine. My legs, strangely, were fine. My lungs even seemed fine. (A few days later at the top of a climb, while we waited for the others to catch up, Todd, who always knows the right thing to say, said, “hey.. could you please breath a little harder..”). I won’t lie.. As I was riding, exerting myself for the first time in several months, I could feel that things have moved around. I can FEEL tumors.. I’m looking back at the last post and I realize that I’ve already written this down, but I’m really just sitting here back in NYC, trying to come to terms with it. I mean. This changes everything! I can ride again! What’s more, I took Hillary out, and she’s really good!!! I had expected that she’d be afraid (and she claims that she is) and yet she hops on the bike and off she goes. The second day she was riding stuff that on the first day she would have completely balked at. SO. It seems this fall I’ll need to be working in some time to do some mountain biking with my wife!
I have been trying, over the last month(s) to make sure that I don’t extend my horizon too far. I am focusing on a week ahead or so. Planning projects that I know I can complete in just a week. Putting up photos for sale, for example (I promised photos this week.. I will try!). And yet.. I’m feeling well. I don’t feel like someone who’s going to die suddenly. It’s hard for me NOT to get excited about a slightly more distant horizon. Hard not to get excited about a beautiful fall full of mountain biking.. another trip up to Vermont, to work on some more trails behind Zach’s house.. Maybe even build another bike or something!! I’m being seduced by life these days.
The next big thing coming up for me is this Bike Cult show. I mentioned it briefly before, but there is a hand built bike show coming up in NYC on labor day weekend. Most of NYC’s own bike builders will be there, as well as a few from Philly and the Boston area. The organizers have dedicated it to me, which is an unbelievable gesture. I will be displaying a few bikes at the show. The Ultimate Tight Ass will be there. As will the Assless. With the Hardass nestled in between them… the missing link. (Only ASS bikes, you see). The Hardass already has an owner after I’m gone. The point of the UTA all along has been to auction it off for a good cause (the cause in question will be the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and their Home Hospice Program), and I will BEGIN the auction at the show. You will be able to bid online with your phone or some such thing. That Auction will end when I am no longer able to ride the UTA! But here’s the news.. I’ve decided that I will also auction off the Assless. I have no idea who would want the thing, or why!! but I am in the business these days of trying to do what I can to help out, and perhaps some one out there will decide that they want that strange bike!! I’ll be there at the show. I hope maybe that I get to see some of you!
I have a lot more to say about this end of life care issue. But I am running late for a meeting. And then I’m playing a beautiful long day of pool with Jon Smith. Getting him all ready for the upcoming world straight pool championships!
Thank you all for reading.