The “Big J” and I managed to celebrate the end of my work week along with almost the end of the month with a nice post-work ride today. We were joined for the first time today by “Dr. J” (no, not THAT Dr. J”). “Dr. J” recently joined our bicycle advisory committee. He comes by his title of “Dr. J.” honestly, He is an honest-to-God physician, which is comforting to know when riding with him. :)
We planned our ride to to take in NC 209, down along the Pigeon River on Riverside Dr. and then back up to “the Triangle” in Crabtree before returning to Lake Junaluska and circling the lake. While there was moderately heavy post-work traffic on NC 209 North, we had the luxury of minimal traffic along the river. We enjoyed an unexpected break when “Dr. J.” flatted while running along River Road. He was prepared though and a few moments later we were back up to cruising speed. After the climb up from the river to the Triangle, “Dr. J” left us to return home and “Big J” and I made our way back to the lake.
On this leg of the trip, we were passed by 3 cyclists working a nice pace line and, going in the opposite direction, our fellow advisory committee member Jay on his commute home. His employer, MAST General Store, is one of the few in the area that reimburses employees for using alternative forms of transportation. Once on the Lake grounds, we were amongst numerous walkers, runners, and cyclists as they completed their workouts in advance of the evening showers. We completed our ride just as the rain began to fall.
Upon arriving home, my “better half” and I were treated to a beautiful late afternoon rainbow superimposed upon Cold Mountain. (Yes, THAT Cold Mountain…) My thoughts turned to Eldon and Susan and of the struggle that they are facing and have faced. I’ve never met “Fatty” nor have I ever met Susan but I have been fortunate to read Eldon’s blog for about a year now (link above and in my favorites). As they have fought cancer, Eldon has given us all the gift of following and experiencing their fight. I have been lucky in that I’ve not lost my wife nor any children to cancer and I pray daily that I’ll never know that pain. My brother, sister, and I did lose both parents to cancer (father – colon cancer and mother - multiple myeloma) so we have some inkling and understanding of what is happening to Eldon and his family. The rainbow this evening served to remind me of peace and hope and the strong wish that we might all come to that place at our days end. With that in mind, the best I can do for “Fatty” and Susan is to wish for them the promise of the rainbow and release from the pain…