Sunday I did it. I got back on my bike and rode with a group, only four weeks post surgery. I can comfortably lift my arms above my head and support my weight on the handlebars. The only problem would be if I hit a hole or flatted a tire, but since I did the no-drop ride I didn’t have to worry about any of that. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was shinning, and the air was slightly cool with the promise of intense heat as the day wore on.
The Jack and Adam's shop ride was heading east. I love the east ride!
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The group slowly winds its way towards Springdale along 2nd street, past Cristo Rey Catholic Church where the priest has a Spanish word of the day, past the urban Boggy Creek Farm, and over the railroad tracks to Springdale Road. On Springdale we pass the house where the crazy lady once through a rock at the bikers in “her bike lane”, move through intersections most of us never see in our daily lives, pass old forgotten cemeteries, and small churches with bands starting to warm up for daily services. The group moves up and down small hills warming up for the larger hills ahead. We take a right on Loyola and make it through the intersection at 183; then up the hills on Johnny Morris in a single file line so cars can zoom by without getting too annoyed at the bikers. At the Budweiser distribution plant we take a breather and let everyone catch back up to the group. Then we move faster down a winding country road before popping out on Decker. None of us want to do the loop around the lake yet, so we ride down Decker to Loyola, go back across 183, and back towards the shop. While we were riding the neighborhoods have started to come alive. People are waiting at the bus stops, some in their church clothes and some just hoping to find someplace cool for the day. The Catholic churches are in between services and people are rushing to take their places inside, or are leaving ready to go about the rest of their day. As we cross under I-35 Mobile Loves and Fishes are feeding the homeless, and we are almost done. Rowers in their boats cut though the water as we pass over the Congress Avenue Bridge, and we are back at the shop.
Cody making sure that his bike is ready to go before the ride.
Zac and I, ready to conquer the morning ride.
Mark making sure everything is in tip top shape before proceeding.
Did I mention that I love the east ride? Cody and I started riding with the group in January 2009, it was so cold then. It was the ride that originally helped me get into shape, and drop 50+ lbs. I know that I can show up to the ride, and even if I’m not in the best shape or mood, by the end of the ride I will feel great. Since being diagnosed with Stage IIA Breast Cancer (T1N1M0) in December 2009 it has been the one activity, happening every Sunday morning, that if I felt well enough to attend, I would be there. And when I didn’t feel well enough to go, Cody tried his best to be there. It allows us to feel connected to our community of friends.