June 27, 2019 is a mere 725 days from today. I can wait, believe me, but in a certain sense I can’t. You see, on June 27, 2019, a team of cyclists will depart John Glenn International airport and head back to the French Alps for our senior Tour de France number three. Back in 2009, Pete, FM, Larry and I had trained for our senior Tour number one. Larry, departed for his eternal home, however, a month before our trip. So, downer joined the fray. We left a number of mementos to Larry along Alpe du Heuz and made lots of memories, none more lasting than burning out the clutch going up Col du Glendon.
June of 2014 we returned without Pete but with a couple new additions. FM, downer, and I were joined by Blondie and Durp. We ventured onto some new mountains and made another ton of memories, none more vivid than a visual of Durp downing a large pizza every night in Albertville. Today, as a few of us rode an e z p z ride around the Powell countryside, I allowed my mind to visualize our next French expedition. There are a number of routes we have to do again, like Madelain, Iseran, Telegraph, and Galabier. I’ve got a few new ones already picked out and, of course, there will be a few we simply stumble upon along the way. I’ll be enjoying my 60th time around the sun and taking it in like it may be my last. Gratitude will ooze out of this group as we take none of it for granted. We’ll be enjoying the climb and anticipating the summit. The descents will begin with me yelling, “Taylor” and remembering not to repeat some stupidity of days gone by.
Purpose and perspective help us stick to disciplines, friend. This is good. And, nothing takes the place of a big dream to keep you going when nobody sees, nobody’s with you, and nobody’s pushing you. Want to stick to your disciplines, friend? Find a big dream that fires your heart and produces a Duchenne smile when you just imagine it. In 725 days we depart for France. One of my big, physical dreams will be airborne. It won’t matter how fast we descend or how slowly we’ll climb. The comradarie of suffering will produce memories. It will be good.
I can already visualize our trip out of St. Jean de Maurienne, departing St. George’s hotel and taking the jog through town till we take a turn to the right and head up the switchbacks to visit our favorite restaurant hanging off the side of a mountain. It will have been a hard day of climbing 2 Cols and the stories will start in the van and continue as we dine, outside, under a star lit night looking down on our tiny alpine village. The legs will be sore but the laughs will take away the sting. Before the night is done, we’ll raise a glass to Goethe and thank him for thinking way back in the day. Dream no small dreams, friend, for they have no power to move humankind. No small dreams. Good…