Lawyers, Death and Wheelmen
Another lawyer has dropped dead from cancer. If you count the heart disease as well,
that makes six dead lawyers from our town in less than three years. Tom was
two doors down from me. His partner of 20 years is a friend and fellow
cyclist who appears to be in good health.
Instead of driving to Snohomish on a remarkably warm March day and attending the
funeral service for the last of the fallen brethren, I rode my bicycle there. I
did not attend the funeral, instead I attended my life.
Not having dropped any weight this winter, despite all the exercise, I was particularly
keen to get out in shorts and long sleeve jersey to see what my body could produced
unencumbered by the weight and confines of a winter kit. I am stronger than I was
at this time last year.
As usual the first ten miles is a warm up, and the breathing seems heavy even on
modest grades. By and by I wore into the rhythm, and before long I am crusing alone
at speeds I only think I can sustain. However I was shocked at my climbing ability,
a memory of the halcyon days of an earlier life now recalled.
This appears to be God's gift to me. Stout in structure, I am not made of those
long legs that power cyclists through the flats close to speeds attained by autos.
Nor do I have the courage to fly down mountainsides at break neck speeds. But for
me cycling is about climbing, and this years winter work appears to yield as much
or more as the effort in earlier years, probably more as the program was more organized and
on purpose, including the use of the bicycle trainer.
I recall being shocked at the speed at which I made the long climb up and over the
Snohomish river bridge, near the end of my normal route.
I stopped at the office after 24 miles, responded to a few e mails, ate a power
bar, then headed back out for more climbing.
I turned around and headed north downtown, witnessing the members of the bench and
bar filtering toward the Monte Cristo hotel where the reception for now buried brethern would be held.
I hammered the pedals home, grabbed a quick shower, and made
it to the reception.
Someone noted a lot of lawyers have dropped dead lately. This has not escaped my
attention. I could have gone to the funeral. Instead I chose to ride. The ride is