Yes, I’ve done it again! Completed my 8th 100 mile Century Ride in Onancock, Virginia. This was the 1st time I’ve ever done an organized ride (over 60) with anyone else. I think they call those people “friends,” but don’t quote me on that. I rode with Anne and Dwight Colgan. My buds here in Baltimore. Dwight cramped up really, really bad and only got to about mile 62. Anne was able to finish the ride. I was such a sunny, golden day. After much deliberation, I took my Bike Friday and got nothing but PRAISE all day long. Folks were, of course surprised. Very surprised. But I kept up and made sure to drink my electrolytes. Here’s a couple pics.
That’s Dwight and Anne in line for registration. We planned to do this ride since I did it last year. The homeaway.com house we stayed in was the same one as last year and it was sooooooooo big and comfy. Almost right next to the water. It was so wonderful last year that Nicole and I decided to invite D/A this go-round. The house has the BEST bathrooms and fantastic rooms to stretch out in. Nicole and I walked round Onancock looking at houses for sale, We were having fantasy moments trying to decide if we could live in such a small town. We could, but our income would sure have to be non-dependent on anything in Onancock. Yes, “independently wealthy” terrain.
Me at the finish. Is there a better feeling in the world?! I think not. Always the best experience is right at the end. You realize you’re not exhausted, and even if you are, you don’t feel it now. Ahhhh, a hot shower and a nice dinner are calling my name. Nobody thinks that little bike can roll. Funniest comment: “Oh no! I’m getting passed by the little bike!”
Yeah, I’m pulling right into the lot. My Friday is a champ. This is the 3rd Century ride I’ve done on this bike and never had a problem. It holds up and carries me through.
On the artistic horizon, “Telling: Baltimore” will play at Center Stage here in B’Mo on Dec. 5th, 6th and 7th. We’re going to kickstart the rehearsal process (my Telling folks have probably forgotten ALL their lines — from what they’ve told me….over a few beers). Also, it looks as though I could be Writing/Directing a few (“African American Women Who Changed History) profiles to be performed at the Waxter Center downtown. The project is sponsored by the Department of Housing, but I’ll have more on that in a couple weeks. One of my former actors, Tyrone Requer brought me into it. We’ll see how it plays out
Since mid-summer I had what turned out to be a “medical episode”. It was a cancer scare and the cancer was multiple mylenoma, a bone cancer. Well, as events worked themselves out, I didn’t have it. At all. More like a degenerative disc in my lower back. But numerous tests were done (MRI, biopsy, numerous blood and e-rays), and more than anything — the emotional “trauma” was much greater than everything. I thought that Directing the Telling Project might be the last thing I’d ever do artistically. It was like that. I know that’s what cancer does. Wrecks havoc with everything it touches. Being with my mother and going down that path wasn’t a pretty picture. And the journey has certainly had a long-lasting effect.
But sitting here now I can only see my scare through my rear-view window. I got off the pain medication for my back, got out of the FOG from the pain medication and now I’ve hit the ground running. This bike ride was the culmination of months of worry and stress. And as I talked to myself throughout the ride, I spoke about how many gifts in my life. Nicole my wife is a gift. Being able to ride my bike is a gift. Being able to do things I’ve done all my life are gifts. And being able to lay my head down at night in peace is certainly one, too. This isn’t a new refrain, unless you’re somebody who had to take a look at the alternatives. I didn’t find religion or anything that spiritual, but I found a more “inner-outspokenness.”
Riding along in the breeze and the countryside of Onancock and beyond, I felt triumphant as hell.