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Old 09-11-13, 06:37 AM   #1
NOS88
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Honored and Sad

I've mentioned before that my older brother was my riding partner for a good number of years, and because of health issues he is no longer able to ride. Over the years he has accumulated several good bikes (one I've been searching to find for a decade), lots of bike parts (cranks, pedals,wheels, saddles, handlebars, etc.) and about every tool you could ever need when working on a bike including a Park wheel truing stand and dishing tool, headset press and headset removal tool. Yesterday he emailed me and said that he wanted to give it all to me. He said he knew I would appreciate his collection and take care of it. In one way I'm quite honored that he would want me to have it all. He loved everything about cycling. So, I know he didn't reach his decision easily. Yet, I find myself feeling a bit sad about the whole thing. It breaks my heart to see the health/physical challenges he's facing. I haven't decided to accept his "gift" yet, and have mixed feelings about doing so. I suspect every time I look at something that used to belong to him, I'll bring back into my awareness his eventual loss of all motor functions - something I don't like to think about on a regular basis. Yet, I also suspect his request isn't just a "gift". Rather, it may be a way for him to feel OK about what happens to cycling items he has cherished. I'm not sure what I'll do. I know in terms of the overall state of human conditions across the globe this is a pretty minor decision, but it weighs heavy on me today.

Thanks for letting me get these thoughts out in the open. Perhaps clearness will come to me now that I've identified some of the thoughts and feelings.
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Old 09-11-13, 06:42 AM   #2
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If you've got the room for it, I'd say take it and enjoy it in his honor. If he can handle hearing about your use on his equipment without it making him too sad thinking about his loss, it might be a way for him to live vicariously though you.
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Old 09-11-13, 06:46 AM   #3
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Not many things bring a tear to my eye but, your thread sure has.

I am sure you will make the right decision.

Thanks for sharing.

Regards
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Old 09-11-13, 07:45 AM   #4
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Depending on his health issues, is it possible for him to:

- ride a trike?
- ride with you on a tandem (trike)?

These aren't cheap solutions, but one that may make both of you feel a lot better.

As far as his gift to you, he may very well be sad at watching these things not being used and loved. I'd accept it and then use it well.
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Old 09-11-13, 07:49 AM   #5
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Whew.......... I'm just glad it isn't on me to face this one, NOS. Off the top of my head I would say to accept his offer, as you will take care of and appreciate what these tool represent to both of you. I doubt much of anything you could say or do will change his direction based on what you have posted here previously. One thing to consider is going on what you have told us about his health issues he doesn't have a lot of time and this may be his way of insuring these tools are in the right hands, that he trusts and loves. What would happen to them otherwise is a big question for you to think about.

This is JMHO. You should do exactly what you decide to do and then move on, regardless.

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Old 09-11-13, 08:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
Depending on his health issues, is it possible for him to:

- ride a trike?
- ride with you on a tandem (trike)?

These aren't cheap solutions, but one that may make both of you feel a lot better.

As far as his gift to you, he may very well be sad at watching these things not being used and loved. I'd accept it and then use it well.
He suffers from peripheral neuropathy from years of heavy use of pharmaceuticals to control epilepsy. He's exhausted current treatments and has been told that he will have a steady decline in most motor functions as the myelin sheath continues to degrade. Just in the last 3 months he's lost the ability to climb steps without assistance. His nerve endings don't register the same clues we take for granted. For example, he'll quickly lose his balance because he has virtually no feeling in his feet any longer. So, as his weight shifts, the nerves don't register with the brain that there is more or less pressure. The other sad thing about this is that he's experienced a significant decline in cognitive abilities. He has a much harder time processing information at a normal speed. If you ask him a question, it may 2 to 3 times as long for him to answer it as it did in the past. Hence, quick decision-making just isn't going to work. He gave up driving over a year ago, and has a companion dog to help keep him oriented when out in public places.
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Old 09-11-13, 09:05 AM   #7
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My thoughts are with you NOS and your brother.
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Old 09-11-13, 09:21 AM   #8
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NOS88, graciously accept them, but be more than overjoyed to return everything if that which is deemed miraculous were to occur. Your brother wants you to have them; honor thy brother.
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Old 09-11-13, 09:24 AM   #9
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One thing I've always marvelled at is how we tend to remember the good things most strongly. I suspect you'd use the gifts and have only good memories.
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Old 09-11-13, 09:32 AM   #10
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Accept his gift graciously and understand his sacrifice. If he is anything like my guy; I know the decision to depart with his gear and tools was tough to make. But just say "thank you" and give him a hug; nothing else needs to be said. And if you at some point, don't have the room; don't hesitate to 1) sell the gear/equipment or 2) donate it which I think is a awesome option - you can give your brother the tax writeoff or treat him to something special he will enjoy.
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Old 09-11-13, 10:12 AM   #11
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Sorry to hear about your brother. *sigh*

All I can say is what I think I would do if I were in his shoes ... and I think I would do the same thing. Give the equipment to someone who can enjoy and use it, and spread the enjoyment to as many others as possible.

Can he still do sag support? I know when I've been off the bike because of illness or surgeries, I really enjoyed being a roving sag.
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Old 09-11-13, 10:13 AM   #12
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I have a friend that is bed ridden. It is hard to come up with topics to talk about. Like you can't ask what have you been doing lately.

The biking equipment will give you a great topic to discuss when you are talking with your brother. You can give him a call each time you use one of the tools and tell him how much you appreciate having the tool. When you take a ride on one of the bikes you can give him a review of the ride and how much you liked the way the bike handled. This will allow him to be included in your biking activity.
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Old 09-11-13, 10:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
He suffers from peripheral neuropathy from years of heavy use of pharmaceuticals to control epilepsy. He's exhausted current treatments and has been told that he will have a steady decline in most motor functions as the myelin sheath continues to degrade. Just in the last 3 months he's lost the ability to climb steps without assistance. His nerve endings don't register the same clues we take for granted. For example, he'll quickly lose his balance because he has virtually no feeling in his feet any longer. So, as his weight shifts, the nerves don't register with the brain that there is more or less pressure. The other sad thing about this is that he's experienced a significant decline in cognitive abilities. He has a much harder time processing information at a normal speed. If you ask him a question, it may 2 to 3 times as long for him to answer it as it did in the past. Hence, quick decision-making just isn't going to work. He gave up driving over a year ago, and has a companion dog to help keep him oriented when out in public places.
It sounds like riding a (recumbent) tandem might work for him (you could even get a trailer for the dog). Again, not a cheap solution, but...

My sympathies to both you and your brother.
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Old 09-11-13, 10:32 AM   #14
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I can understand his wanting to give his tools to someone for which they would have meaning, and I can understand that for you that may be a bit hard to handle. As an option you could discuss with him donating them to a charity. If there isn't a co-op or other organization close by, there is one in Trenton that could use them.
Food for thought.
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Old 09-11-13, 01:10 PM   #15
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My thoughts are with you NOS and your brother.

If it were me, I would graciously accept his gift. I think it would make him happy knowing that they were being used and enjoyed in a responsible and caring manner, which you most certainly will do. If he needs money for medical issues, etc. then maybe you could explore that route.

I am somewhat in a similar situation myself with one of my brothers, but nowhere near the seriousness of health issues that your brother has. This is what I would do personally.
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Old 09-11-13, 02:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
I've mentioned before that my older brother was my riding partner for a good number of years, and because of health issues he is no longer able to ride. Over the years he has accumulated several good bikes (one I've been searching to find for a decade), lots of bike parts (cranks, pedals,wheels, saddles, handlebars, etc.) and about every tool you could ever need when working on a bike including a Park wheel truing stand and dishing tool, headset press and headset removal tool. Yesterday he emailed me and said that he wanted to give it all to me. He said he knew I would appreciate his collection and take care of it. In one way I'm quite honored that he would want me to have it all. He loved everything about cycling. So, I know he didn't reach his decision easily. Yet, I find myself feeling a bit sad about the whole thing. It breaks my heart to see the health/physical challenges he's facing. I haven't decided to accept his "gift" yet, and have mixed feelings about doing so. I suspect every time I look at something that used to belong to him, I'll bring back into my awareness his eventual loss of all motor functions - something I don't like to think about on a regular basis. Yet, I also suspect his request isn't just a "gift". Rather, it may be a way for him to feel OK about what happens to cycling items he has cherished. I'm not sure what I'll do. I know in terms of the overall state of human conditions across the globe this is a pretty minor decision, but it weighs heavy on me today.

Thanks for letting me get these thoughts out in the open. Perhaps clearness will come to me now that I've identified some of the thoughts and feelings.
We can all feel sad for your brother, now I agree with a lot of others, you should accept the gift. Surplus bikes and parts you can't use, maybe you can put up for sale, maybe duplicate tools as well. Perhaps you could do something for your brother with the proceeds.
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Old 09-11-13, 02:28 PM   #17
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He's fortunate to have someone close to pass them to. I've been wondering where my stuff will go to an appreciative cyclist as my close friends and relatives are either shorter than me or don't cycle.
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Old 09-11-13, 03:33 PM   #18
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My wife had a very hard time giving up riding, but after getting 4 disk in her lower back, I decided to sell her bike. It was fun while it lasted and we both wish she could be ride again, but were both worried if she fell it would be a disaster.

Sorry to hear about your problems and I’m sure everything will workout for the good. Whatever that may be. Good luck.
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Old 09-11-13, 04:20 PM   #19
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I haven't decided to accept his "gift" yet, and have mixed feelings about doing so.
I suspect that he would want you riding his bikes and using the gear because they will continue to "trek" even when he cannot. He'll be there, with you, in spirit, with every stroke of the pedal. Then, you can talk about it together.

I saw a movie starring Martin Sheen. He walked a pilgrimage that his son began and died in an accident along the way. He carried his son's ashes and scattered them along the way and then dumped the remainder in the sea at the end. It was a great money.

Your brother will not have died, but, his journey ended in another sense. You can ride for him.
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Old 09-11-13, 04:52 PM   #20
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My younger brother died of a brain tumor over a decade ago. He was the serious cyclist of the family, easily doubling my 2,500-3,500 miles per year. I was very hesitant to accept some of his stuff, including his prized Paris-Burst-Paris jerseys. Now I wouldn't sell them for anything, and wear them on special occasions, like his birthday.

Honor your brother.
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Old 09-11-13, 05:33 PM   #21
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I saw a movie starring Martin Sheen. He walked a pilgrimage that his son began and died in an accident along the way. He carried his son's ashes and scattered them along the way and then dumped the remainder in the sea at the end. It was a great money.
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Old 09-11-13, 06:46 PM   #22
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Perhaps a tandem trike?
Its sad to hear, and remindes me that I need to spend more time on my bike and enjoy it until God forbid, someday I cant ride.
Take his gift, love and care for them and always keep him in the loop
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Old 09-11-13, 07:21 PM   #23
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My younger brother was getting "too old" for his 10 speed road bike, so I offered to set it up with flat bars and thumb shifters.
Since he lived in California, we'd only see each other about twice/year and he was going to pick it up the next time he visited.
He ended up with cancer and died 2 years ago and I ended up with the bike.
It had sentimental value to me, since he bought it new back in 73 74?
It was far too big for me, so I fixed it up for my best friends son.
The stipulation is that if he EVER gets rid of it, it comes back to me.
That way I still get to see and work on the bike on occasion and I feel my brother is glad to see the bike being used by someone that DOES appreciate the significance.
I turned it into a 3X9 speed and it gets ridden LOTS of miles.
RIP Tony
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Old 09-11-13, 07:55 PM   #24
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NOS, consider yourself a custodian, taking care of your brother's love of cycling.

In all likelihood, he is attending to his affairs before what appears to be the inevitable outcome, and rather than seeing his cycling items being liquidated to cash in the administration of his estate, he would rather they go now to someone he knows will appreciate them, and help maintain strong memories of good times together.

He probably has given this considerable thought, and to deny him the offer might not sit well with him, as in the longer term, it might not sit well with you.

Last edited by Rowan; 09-12-13 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 09-11-13, 09:22 PM   #25
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My thoughts are with you NOS and your brother.
Yea.... me too man. That's very hard and I'm so sorry. One thing I might suggest is taking the bike stuff in stages... I don't know why but I think that would make it easier for me. Maybe it softens the sense of finality of it somehow. Hang in there....
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