Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hanging It Up

This picture illustrates a number of points in this post: 1) The hanging bike illustrates the title of this post; once again, the vagaries of life have interrupted my randonneuring plans. 2) My dad's work clothes to the upper right of his walker. We were sad when Dad was driven to use a walker, making the use of his work clothes a thing of the past. Now, we just hope he can return to the walker. 3) The bike itself. My carefully crafted plans to prepare for a 200K brevet in November may be at risk, but even while taking care of Dad, I have a bike to ride.

"Man proposes, God disposes."1 For my first two brevets, in 2012 and 2013, I used long, rigid training plans to prepare. As regular readers of this blog know, I selected a much more relaxed training plan to prepare for a 200K brevet this November. It is so flexible, it should be resistant to most of life's surprises. Surprise! A few weeks ago I received a text from my sister: "Dad has fallen." A few days after that, "Dad has fallen again, and is in the hospital getting x-rays." I am delighted that the x-rays revealed no broken bones, but what about the next fall? My father-in-law died from such a fall. So, I post this from Dad's home in California where I am staying to both share in Dad's care as well as to help him plot the next stage of his life.

I prepared this post before leaving Houston; Dad's technology resources do not lend themselves to preparing a blog post, nor do I have access to my library of pictures and cycling data here. That being so, this may be the last post for a while, which is its main message. That, and that my plans for a 200K brevet in November are on hold, perhaps to be abandoned. I will ride as much as I can in California, but between the needs of my father and the absence of my familiar cycling environment, training for a brevet may be more than I can do. But who knows, I will ride as much as I can, substituting intensity for distance, and depending on how quickly my sister and I can get Dad settled, I will see how long it takes me to get back home and what my fitness looks like when do. Stay tuned.

1) A translation from "The Imitation of Christ" by the German-born Thomas à Kempis (c.1380-1471). I claim this proverb is religion neutral. Either take it at face value or use God as a stand-in for fate, luck, nature, the perversity principle or Murphy's Law, as you prefer.

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