Happy 50th, Grappy…

It was cold this morning, crazy cold. It was perfect actually. You see, friend, this morning five friends gathered in my driveway at 5:50am to watch Grappy blow out 50 candles on the cake the Littlest Fricker brought for him. He blew them out in one, massive, smile filled breath. He’s a strong 50, you know.

Once the candles were out, the five us turned toward the west and lit a few of our own. We lit it up heading away from the sun that was just popping up it’s head. We pedaled easy and trash talked for the first 10-15 miles. As the sun rose higher so did the pace. By the time Grappy took the front, my breathing was getting labored and my smile was coming easier. We were out playing in the countryside, like little kids. Of course, I got us lost on purpose. We ventured down some white roads and one of them ended with a gravel laced dead end. We laughed and made it up as we went. The goal was 50 miles for Grappy’s 50th.

On the way back we made a slight detour to stop by Grappy’s home and bother his bride, Lynette, to take pictures of 5 boys celebrating a birthday. We were all smiles and she is such a good sport. As we soft pedaled the final five miles back to my house we talked about our previous France trips and how the memories are made when stuff happens and the plan goes haywire. We will forever talk about the time the engine gave out half way up Col du Glandon and we all had to leave it by the side of the road, grab our bikes, and begin the days ride climbing one of the biggest mountains in France on our way to climbing one of the most legendary (Alpe d’Huez – I don’t like Alpe, btw). The taxi ride back to our crippled car, with no euro’s in anybody’s pocket, was even funnier!

So, friend, remember that life is meant to be shared. Friends and family are bitter and sweet, poison and wine, because you are too. Embrace this reality. Lead your friends and family with love, anyway. Give more than you take. Stop keeping score. Who knows, maybe when you turn 50 you will turn toward the sun like we did today, 25 miles into the adventure. The sun, kinda like good friends and family, lit us up. We picked up speed as it’s warmth soothed sore muscles. It was a great way to start the day. Racing toward the sun, wind at our backs, and smiling while we suffered together. It was good. And, like all good plans, when we turned up my driveway, Grappy yelled at me “We’re at 50.1 miles.” 50.1. That’s like the icing on the cake. Happy day, Grappy, go make some more memories. Thanks, Littlest Fricker, PJ, Downer, and Grappy for being with. Nothing better than being with. Go. Be with. Good.

Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…

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