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Everything is different.

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Old 01-13-19, 10:48 PM
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McBTC
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Everything is different.

Maybe need a new sticky thread here (not sure it's limited to 65 & older)? Cycling Widowers, although... there probably are Cycling Widows as well. I'm not sure I'll ever see anything the same again. Any older cyclists out there with life lives have been turned upside down recently?
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Old 01-14-19, 12:58 AM
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eja_ bottecchia
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Upside down how? Death of a spouse?
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Old 01-14-19, 01:57 AM
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Unless the concept is like a "Football Widow".

In this case, a "Cycling Widow" may simply be a wife that never sees the husband anymore because he is completely consumed with bicycles, bicycle repairs and upgrades, and cycling.
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Old 01-14-19, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Maybe need a new sticky thread here (not sure it's limited to 65 & older)? Cycling Widowers, although... there probably are Cycling Widows as well. I'm not sure I'll ever see anything the same again. Any older cyclists out there with life lives have been turned upside down recently?
I assume that your wife has recently passed. My wife passed away 6 years ago after a 5 1/2 year fight with ovarian cancer. It was awful. We had 3 kids (all adopted), two in junior high and one just starting college, when she died, and had been married for 34 years. I could go on and on about the details of those years. In brief, I can now look back on those days without despair and see some wonderful moments that I will always cherish. We were fortunate as we knew approximately when she would pass, after learning that there was nothing left to try. During those final months, after getting over the shock of the reality, we had some wonderful conversations. Many of them were my wife encouraging me to move on, take care of the kids, even telling me to marry again. A few months after she died (at home, under hospice-like care), because of her encouragement, I was able to move on with life. One of those moves was to buy a new bike. Used to ride a lot, but hadn't ridden for many years. That first year after she was gone I rode a lot and it was extremely therapeutic. Don't know if any of that speaks to you. Would gladly talk privately if you want to. There are sites for widowers out there with good men sharing. Take care bro.
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Old 01-14-19, 07:16 AM
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McBTC
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Originally Posted by nishin91 View Post


That first year after she was gone I rode a lot and it was extremely therapeutic. Don't know if any of that speaks to you. …

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Very sorry for your and your family's loss due to ovarian cancer. Breast cancer, metastasis, chemo, limitations of modern medicineall realized less than a week agoI did a web search and there is valuable solace there for anyone in helping to explain seemingly unproductive reactions... emotions, at times and for reasons that may do not make much sense to a lot of dudes and probably never will but, I saw nothing about cycling as being extremely therapeutic and that's good to hear and wanted to hear and hopefully will be something to look forward to again.
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Old 01-14-19, 08:56 AM
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My wife has been battling breast cancer for the past 9 years. Went into remission for 5 years now it is back. She is going through various treatments and looking at this as a chronic disease to treat. We can all go at anytime due to all sorts or things and accidents. My wife does get on a bike once in awhile but not since a long time ago. Hopefully again this spring that would be great. Cycling and running keeps me mentally fit I hope but I have been at it for 41 years so lucky. Married for 32 years she is a winner!
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Old 01-14-19, 02:10 PM
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My condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one. My first wife died in 2006. We'd been together almost 40 years. At the time, I was still running quite a bit, and it definitely helped me get through the grief and adjustment to being alone. I eventually found someone else to spend my life with. A few years ago, my knees made me replace running with cycling. And it definitely helps me get through life's little ups and downs. Don't know when the next big down is coming, but pretty sure cycling will help to minimize it. Body, heart and mind...
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Old 01-14-19, 02:12 PM
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Oh, yeah. All of 2018. I've been wobbling for months like a punching bag clown. As soon as I recover my balance something knocks me down again. And it hasn't stopped yet. Life doesn't respect artificial time boundaries like New Year's Day.

Cycling is the one thing that keeps me balanced. Even a half hour spin on the indoor trainer does wonders for me.
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Old 01-14-19, 02:27 PM
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in my darkest hours, my bikes remain something I can count on
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Old 01-14-19, 07:16 PM
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Lost a son

Below is a story I wrote about the nexus between cycling and moving on from grief. Hope it helps. Sorry the pictures did not come through.


A Canvas Big Enough

This is a story about a bicycle, but it is not about a bicycle at all. It is a story about remembering and healing. It is a story of taking up a broken brush and using it to repaint the canvas of my life with splashes of color and moments of joy.

A bit over a year ago, my friends at Trek Bicycle Corporation and I embarked on the reimagining of the Bandit, a bicycle adapted to a one-handed rider. I am that one-handed rider. My left arm went missing at the shoulder many years ago, victim of a run in between the sailboat I was on and a high power line. I am also, at least to my brothers, the Bandit, taken from the nickname given to slot machines, and a reflection of my brothers’ belief that any money I win from them on the golf course is an act of larceny. When Trek produced the original version of this bike five years ago, we passed the Bandit name along to it. It stuck.

Between the first Bandit and the start of Bandit 2.0, there were some changes in Trek's Project One, custom bike program. Now, in addition to choosing color schemes within a set group of designs (which was already pretty cool), riders can start with a clean slate and, working with Trek's artists and painters, they can create a bike that is uniquely theirs.

My first thought was that there is only so much that can be drawn upon the scant surface area and oddly shaped tubes of a road bike, that the canvas offered by a bicycle was too small to do much. In my limited imagination, every conceivable design and combination had already been tried. So, with no set image in mind, I accepted Trek's invitation to simply send along something to inspire the design-a name, a story, perhaps a picture or two.

The Bandit name was a given. I don't think the wonderful people at Trek, especially ..., the lead designer from the start, who have invested their creativity and passion in this project over the past six years, would have permitted anything different. On the occasions I brought the Bandit back for rides, the Trek workforce treated it like a lost child recently found. The bad things we have done may haunt us, but it is the good things that sustain us. To my friends at Trek, the Bandit was a good thing, a reminder of how their work makes a difference.

As further confirmation for the name, on a bicycling tour in Ireland I had listened to stories about the roving bands of Irish torai, bandits if you will, living in the forest and taking back from the English the possessions those foreign invaders had stolen from members of the clan. Like so many other things misappropriated by the English (the ability to cook a decent meal sadly not among them), the legend of Robin Hood certainly was one. This new Bandit, I decided, would need more than just a touch of green. Riding it would make me feel like a man of danger, a rebel forever connected to his Irish roots, a Fenian crusader on the path to independence.

Name decided, I turned to the story I wanted this bike to tell, or more appropriately, the stories I wanted to tell when I rode it. The first Bandit was a conversation starter that had helped strangers become friends over hours of rides up and down Colorado mountains, and from Iowa clear over to Lake Michigan in the Ride Across Wisconsin. I wanted this Bandit to be no different.

As this is a story about remembering and healing, beware that the next part starts in the darkest of places. The night I learned that our son, Jeff, had passed away in a backcountry skiing accident in New Zealand, I found myself on the Bandit, on the trainer, tears streaming down my face and sobs catching my throat. Two hours later, the bike was still planted on the trainer, not an inch away from where I started, a taunting metaphor to the crushing reality that I could not pedal away from this tragedy.

Over the course of the next few weeks, as we planned to remember and say goodbye to Jeff, friends and neighbors came along side for long, mostly silent rides. Incredibly brave young men and women, friends of our son, showed up at our doorstep, not knowing what kind of mess they might find. Many of them came with their bikes, or borrowed one of ours. It was during a ride that I remembered one of my favorite days with my son, and realized that he had on that day given us the tools we needed to survive this.

At his memorial service, I retold the story:

Standing still is not an option that would sit well with Jeff, I started. A few years ago, he and I set out to ride our bikes in an event called the Triple Bypass, so named because of the three, high mountain passes it climbs. Forty-five miles into the ride, with only one pass behind me, I fell and shattered my femur.

Five months later, I had a business meeting near Jackson Hole, a place that we had always wanted to ski, so I invited Jeff to drive down from school in Montana and join me. On the way to the mountain, Jeff announced his plan for the day: “When we get there Dad, we’re going to take the tram 4000 feet up to the top, find the steepest run that’s open, strap in and go.”

When I raised my eyebrows at this, he elaborated: “You’re going to know in five turns if this is going to work. Otherwise, we’re going to spend the day *****footing around while you whine and test things out.”

“What happens if it’s not working?” I asked.

Jeff told me that we would cross that bridge when we came to it, but grinned in a way that said I’ll pick you up and we’ll try five more. Either way, there was no plan B.

Likewise, when it comes to healing, there is no Plan B. We are going to make our five turns, no matter how awkward or painful, and then five more after that. If someone falls, we’re going to pick them up and start with five more turns. At some point, we’re going to realize that the wound is healing and the rhythm of our lives has, to some extent, been restored.

Embracing rather than avoiding the things that cause me to remember my son, that is the story this bike will tell and the story I will tell about this bike. I kept this in mind as I dug through the images Jeff had captured on his final journey. One of those pictures was from a forest in New Zealand. It was a place of tranquility. It appeared to be a perfect sanctuary for the noble bandits of Irish folklore. If you look closely, you can almost see them hiding in the trees. I sent the image off to ..., explaining that my son had taken the picture shortly before he died. It became the color palette for the Bandit 2.0.

The final image I sent to Trek was this one, which I described as follows:

Okay-so it’s not specific to the Bandit theme, but is important to me. This teardrop pendant (“roimata” in Maori) comes from a region in New Zealand very close to where the picture I sent you was taken by my son Jeff, shortly before he died. It was hand carved by a friend of his and then blessed by the priest, or Tohunga, in the village where he was staying. It provides strength and reassurance. I wear it on most rides.

Trek took those inspirations and captured and combined them brilliantly. From the colors, to the pattern that evokes the thought of arrows flying through the mist, to the whispered image of the roimata on the front forks, this bike is the Bandit. My friends at Trek also knew, without my saying, exactly what the Bandit and my riding represents. It is about recovering from injury and unimaginable loss. It is about rejoining a world that still holds so much promise-a world my son saw every morning when he woke up in a meadow, surrounded by snow-capped mountains waiting to be climbed and skied-a world he captured in pictures and dreamed about on the days he was confined to more mundane tasks.

The Bandit is about the journey forward.

Don’t let the awkward collection of interconnected tubes throw you off. A bicycle offers us a canvas that is more than big enough. The paint on that bike does not need to be custom, it can be chipped/peeling, yet from the seat of a bike, we can find joyful stories filled with vibrant color, strangers waiting to become friends, quiet moments amidst vast beauty, and the parts of our surroundings that need our attention. A bicycle ride does not hide the world-it brings it into sharper focus, the good and the bad. The windows are always rolled down, opening us up to the sights and sounds and smells that surround us.

And, on those rare and special days, our bicycles might even take us to what the Irish call thin places, where the separation between the world we can see and world we can’t is so slight that magic fills our senses.

Paint on and journey forward. That is what the Bandit and I are going to do.
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Old 01-14-19, 08:16 PM
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I am devastated to read this thread. Full sorrow to those have suffered a loss of the person important above all else in their lives.

McBTC, my fingers crossed that cycling helps you get through this as it helped others.
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Old 01-14-19, 08:19 PM
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Life is hard for those who live
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Old 01-15-19, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by tigat View Post
... A bicycle offers us a canvas that is more than big enough. The paint on that bike does not need to be custom, it can be chipped/peeling, yet from the seat of a bike, we can find joyful stories filled with vibrant color, strangers waiting to become friends, quiet moments amidst vast beauty, and the parts of our surroundings that need our attention. A bicycle ride does not hide the world-it brings it into sharper focus, the good and the bad. The windows are always rolled down, opening us up to the sights and sounds and smells that surround us.

And, on those rare and special days, our bicycles might even take us to what the Irish call thin places, where the separation between the world we can see and world we can’t is so slight that magic fills our senses.

Paint on and journey forward. That is what the Bandit and I are going to do.
So much of what you've said there is inexplicably brilliant and on point. Paint on and journey forward indeed.
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Old 01-15-19, 10:21 AM
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Three of my male friends have lost wives to illness. All eventually remarried, but the first few years were tough. Having been in an exclusive relationship for 50 years, including 45 of marriage, I know this would be very difficult, and I am thankful for every day we still have together. My wife is a 25-year thyroid cancer survivor, but that has been our closest call so far.
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Old 01-15-19, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Maybe need a new sticky thread here (not sure it's limited to 65 & older)? Cycling Widowers, although... there probably are Cycling Widows as well. I'm not sure I'll ever see anything the same again. Any older cyclists out there with life lives have been turned upside down recently?

The loss of a loved one can be life altering or the start of a new beginning. It's about perspective and acceptance.


"......Gleason score (GS) 10 disease is the most aggressive form of clinically localized prostate adenocarcinoma (PCa). The long-term clinical outcomes and overall prognosis of patients presenting with GS 10 PCa are largely unknown because of its rarity......."


The above was taken from the following link ---- https://www.redjournal.org/article/S...611-4/fulltext


I am a Gleason 10. My wife and I have had discussions pertaining to the future or the lack there-of. I've already had one recurrence following treatment. It is prudent to be prepared for what ever lies ahead whether one has been given an idea of a possible expiration date or not. IMO, to be ill-prepared is not an option. She understands the joy I receive from bicycling and has purchased my last 2 bikes even though they might be instrumental in a premature demise. If she dies before me, I am prepared to continue on, such is life. After all, it's perspective and acceptance.
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