“Now’s the Time”
~ Charlie Parker
It really is time. It’s been two weeks,* life is getting back to what used to be normal and perhaps it’s time to wrap this baby up and put it to sleep. How do I know that it’s time? Last night my mom told me (was she complaining?) that I called her more when we were on our bikes than I do now. To be honest, in the little book that I kept track of our distances and elevations, I did not keep track of phone calls to mom. So, while I can remember pretty much every meal on the road I might not be able to document each phone call that I made.
* N.B.: Jerry wrote this in May. He’s been asking Shelagh to post it to the blog ever since then. Shelagh being the poster of blogs. It is now October. She is posting it. Go figure…
There are some things that need to be taken care of before I leave this blog. First, I should mention that my blog mind has gone dry. There are no more ideas coming to me, funny or otherwise. All that follows had its beginnings on our ride, just putting it to paper now because, well, because it’s time.
First, the thank you’s. We didn’t build this. We didn’t build the bikes, the roads, the bridges, the restaurants, the B & B’s. If I ever conveyed otherwise, my apologies. There were so many people along the way that helped us, so, let’s start. Thanks, mom and dad, obviously without you this would have been impossible. Mom was amazing. She was always interested in hearing about our travels, always suitably impressed, and never once told us that what we were doing was too dangerous or well , you know. I wish that Dad could have been here to talk to during the ride but I think that I know what he would have said. He would have called every day and told us how impressed he was with what we were doing and how proud it made him feel. Then he would have told us that we were both “meshuganah” and that it was all my fault. So it goes.
Thanks to all for their bike help. Gene Bell who dismantled our bikes and got them ready for shipping, and Leni and company at Island bicycles in Key West who got the bikes in perfect shape for us (and warned us that a big chain lock was the only chance that we had to make it out of the Keys with our bikes). And to Eric Simmons, who has spent the last six months giving us all sorts of advice and tools to keep our bikes going. Who ever thought that we would need a second bike pump? Eric I guess. Thanks to the bike organizations that made our trip work, Adventure Cycling, The East Coast Greenway, and Rails to Trails. They’ve created a few lifetime members in our household.
Thanks to the hotel, motel, and B&B folks along the way. You can’t imagine how helpful they were. Not once did we have anyone complain about our bikes, never a problem bringing them in our room or wherever we felt was safest. We had multiple B&B and AirB&B hosts inform us that while we were in their state they were responsible for us, just call if we had any problems. And our friends that took us in(n). Looking back it seems that you were always our next destination, always that point that we were dreaming about.
And one big “thank you” to the Universe for evolving in a way that included us. There were certainly many times during the riding that I wasn’t sure if things would turn out that way.
Careful, if you keep reading you might get to the part where they ask for donations. When we were in the planning stages we were asked many times if we were doing this as a fund raiser for any cause. At the time it was always very difficult to say “no.” I felt kind of useless and self indulgent. But, to be honest, I wasn’t really confident that we could do the trip. The last thing that I wanted was the pressure of people having contributed money weighing me down.
But we did, so here goes. Our last weeks before we left for our ride were very sad for us. We lost two very good friends from cancer. Max Elliott died after a four year battle with bone cancer. He was far, far too young to leave us. And our friend Julie Grunvald died after many years of coping with multiple cancers. Our last “social” events before leaving included attending their funerals and sitting shiva for Julie. At Julie’s funeral, many spoke of her love for the ocean and it seemed that we spent our first half of the ride looking out and thinking about Julie.
Max’s parents Riley and Sandy have told anyone who inquired that contributions could be made to the Burlington Hospice in Max’s honor.
Julie’s husband Lloyd has likewise suggested to friends that donations in Julie’s memory could be sent to the Cochran ski area.
And so, if you have any interest in honoring our ride through a donation to charity, we would be pleased to have you contribute to either of these causes in Max’s or Julie’s honor. Or give to a cause of your choice; so many out there could use a little help.
Now’s the Time To Say Goodbye To All Our Company
~ The Mickey Mouse Club
Thanks for listening.