Some of you know that I used to ride with my stepson (Jerry, 30 years old). Jerry was in a severe auto accident in January. He was on a ventilator for a month and had six surgeries before I lost count. After the accident, as if he were an infant, I saw him take his first breath, his first bite of solid food, his first steps. In April, he finally started Physical Therapy. I went to his first session to cheer him on. Unfortunately, when they put him on the stationary bike, Jerry was unable to pedal it. He got so discouraged, frustrated and embarrassed that he walked out of PT, and would not go back. He has exercized since then on his own, but never even talked about cycling.
Finally, he agreed to give PT one more try. His appointment was this morning, and his fiance's car broke down last night. Jerry called me this morning and said he was going to ride his bike for the first time, in order to get to his PT appointment. I had some misgivings, but I learned long ago that it is pointless to argue with Jerry when he makes up his mind. I went out on my bike to meet him, but I couldn't find him anywhere. I was so worried that something had happened, so I followed his route to PT. I figured that I would soon catch him, and I got more and more worried when I did not. But, lo and behold, his bike was already at the bike rack when I got to the hospital. Somehow, I had missed his path on my way to the hospital. I did cry as I locked my bike to his at the bike rack. I finally knew that he will recover, and that we will have great rides together again this summer.
I guess that, more than ever, I now know the bicycle is a wonderful machine, and we should never take it for granted. It, and the fun we share on it, can motivate and empower people to do things that you thought were impossible.