Do you remember that hot summer day at Pioneer Park? The kids were ripping thru the woods and hitting that little dirt jump. We ended up going to Meijer and buying two of the coolest bikes ever.....those red Mongoose bikes with the shock seat posts that never worked. We brought them back and promptly started to destroy them on that little dirt jump.
About a week later you came home with brochures for Trek and started to hunt a "real" bike. I took a different path and headed to Cross Country Cycle where I was introduced to Specialized. Time went on and we kept riding the Mongooses....but not much because they were junk....let's be honest. Eventually we convinced our wives, with the help of a shop mechanic, that there was indeed a difference in the bikes and that we needed to spend some money. You came home with that shiny black and red Trek 4500 and I got a great deal on a Schwinn Moab 3. We went out to Pentwater pathway on our first actual rides. You found that trail in your enormous Michigan trail atlas that you had bought earlier in the year. I fell completely in love with riding after about 3 minutes on my new bike. You did too if I remember correctly.
A month later you handed me a brochure for a little race called "Iceman Cometh". We figured why not and signed up for this race that was held rain, snow, or shine. Fun was not really what we had during that race. We didn't know what the hell we were doing....we were just riding along pounding at the pedals. The discussions however started on the way home about how we would train for next year....
We never raced it again together, but we did to the Fort Custer TT where you took 4th. We were all very proud of you for your efforts....even though you felt like you didn't deserve it. It was later that year that you scared me, and yourself, really bad. You did a super-endo over that log. No damage to your bike, but you had a black eye, stitches, and a concussion to deal with. I could tell your courage left you after that crash.....and you were never really the same on the bike.
Time went on though....and even though you stopped riding you still had an intense interest in how I was riding and the newest products to hit the market. I want to thank you again for sparking the interest that I have now for bikes....and for taking me out of my comfort zone to try a race. I owe you indefinitely.
Just wanted to remind you about how all of this got started in the first place. I also want to let you know that we miss you. Your family, your mom, your daughters, your sister, your nieces and nephews, and myself. We are going to celebrate the life you had....and how you made us all laugh. And I am doing this silly ride for you on Monday. Gonna share some silly stories and a little of our history. Thanks for watching over us.....it is appreciated.
After reading this I want everyone who reads it to think about the person that got them started riding or gave them excellent advice about bikes. Find them.....and thank them......because you may not get another chance......