Sunday, June 21, 2009


Father’s Day is one of those Hallmark holidays that can throw people into a tailspin.

Valentine’s Day might get all the press for its negative impact on the self-esteem of the unattached, but Mother’s Day and Father’s Day arrive with heavy baggage for many.

I’m not one of them.

My dad, Wally, was one of the good guys. Oh, he could tear it up at the Elk’s or Vet’s Club from time to time, but on the whole, it would be hard to ask for much more in a father.

He held a steady job and supported his 6 children. Maybe we didn’t live in luxury, but if we needed something (which, you know, is actually different from wanting something – a distinction that seems to be lost on many these days), we had it. The financial support was just the beginning, of course. The emotional support is what was priceless and irreplaceable.

My dad died in September 2000. He was 80 years old and lived a full life. But on the anniversary of his birthday (May 27) and on Father’s Day, as well as all the other holidays throughout the year, I miss him.

That’s all. No drama, no trauma, no unresolved issues that keep me from living my life. Just a little blue feeling and melancholy “missing.” So, if your dad is still with you, give him a call. Both of you will appreciate it.

Ride report for June 20 & 21:

We rode the Blue River Century on Saturday. It is only the second year the ride has been held, so it is still really small – probably not more than 400 (and likely closer to 300) riders. It is a fund raiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and since one of our dear friends just had a double mastectomy last week, raising money for cancer research and outreach/support programs for those with cancer is a cause I can get behind.

Fatty gave a review of these iPod headphones the other day. It seemed like a great Father's Day present for Phil; since I'm a great believer in the "one for you, one for me" school of thought, I got a set, too. This was the maiden voyage - they worked great!

The ride began in Keystone, then headed toward Steamboat Springs. We had a sweet 20 mile flat/slight downhill, before making the turn to Ute Pass. Ute Pass is a gradual, but steady 5 mile climb. Beautiful views – even with the rapidly forming clouds which obscured the higher peaks.

Then it was back to Dillon, around the reservoir, over to Frisco, then on to Copper Mountain, before beginning the climb up Fremont Pass (on the way to Leadville).
The threatening clouds began to drop their moisture about 3 miles from the summit of Fremont. We got damp, but not soaked – had a snack at the aid station, put on ALL of our clothes, and headed back downhill. We rode back to Keystone, where we had 3 options for the finish – ride to Montezuma, ride to Arapahoe Basin, or ride to the top of Loveland Pass.
At the Fremont Pass aid station - brrr!

Actually, there was a 4th option, and that was the one we chose – head back to the car, load up our gear, and avoid the imminent downpour. We rode 92 miles in just under 6 hours – we decided we didn’t need to be heroes and go for the “big wow” finish in Loveland.
And, man, are we ever glad we bailed out. The skies opened up and it rained – hard and steady – the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening.
This morning when we got up (we stayed over night in Copper Mountain), it looked miserable: the clouds were thick, dark, and low hanging.
We checked the weather report for Golden and saw it was supposed to be sunny and in the high 70s. We quickly packed up and headed home.
Today was the nicest day we have had to ride all season – honestly. The first day of summer was the first day it seemed like summer. We did a 3 hour ride with plenty of climbing, then came home, ate like linebackers, and started catching up on chores. All in all, a good weekend on the bikes.
Rex, enjoying Phil's flower pots.

The proud gardener. The flowers look great!

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