WHAT

And I did ride.

Boston is a fun town for riding. The Charles provides a natural buffer. You can ride from the Museum of Science to Brandeis entirely on bike paths, many of which are double-paths allowing for two-way traffic without passing. On that whole twelve-mile jaunt you’ll have to stop for walk signs maybe eight times. During the day there are few other bicyclists. At night, after dark, there’s not a soul – you can ride for hours and hours with nothing but the river for your company.

I lapped the length of the river over and over. I got better. Riding a good road bike is nothing like riding a hybrid. It’s not even like bike-riding. It’s more like running at 20 miles per hour. It’s like magic. Absolute magic. And Hanno weighs nothing, and turns on a nickel, and stops on a dime. Before too

One month after buying Hanno, winter came. I had to put him away for three months.

One month after spring came, I got run off the road by an ambulance. (On my way to my EMT class. #cambridge). Because I’d just been working in a hospital, my bruises got infected. I spent a month on Sulfa drugs to fight MRSA. No riding that month.

A few weeks after that… well, let’s just say there were complications and I had to have a few surgeries. Nothing major. Just… inconveniently located. Such that I required ALL THE PAINKILLERS EVER. Another month lost. And then another because, yeah, inconvenient location for riding.

Then I got in a good six weeks of riding. It was glorious. I rode the Minuteman Rail Trail to Concord and back. I rode up to Salem and down to the South Shore. I rode through Boston at night, the north end, deep southie. I felt grand.

A few days later I went rock-climbing, missed the first hold and blew out my ankle. I didn’t tear my ACL entirely. Just almost-entirely. Spent a few weeks on crutches. Fortunately bicycle riding is the best therapy for ACL injuries. So I was back on the bike.

One day I geared up, charged my GPS-giving phone, and set out to Worcester, 55 miles. I left a city behind me, rode, rode, and five hours later I rode into an entirely different city. It was a feeling I shall never forget.

A few days later I hit a tree-branch the size of a tree-trunk. No idea what it was doing on a bike path. Can’t imagine it hadn’t injured cyclists before. I went over the handlebars. As I was still clipped in, the bike came with me. I got the wind knocked out of me. But I walked away. Rode away, though I’d burst both tire-tubes (I always travel with two spares, and encourage every klutz to do the same). When I got home I saw I’d torn my shorts in one place and my shirt in two and at some point I’d gushed blood out of my forehead. Apparently endorphins are good painkillers. I showered off and went to bed.

I woke up in agony. It took me 8 hours just to get out of bed. Apparently I’d also cracked four ribs. I spent the next ten days basically confined to bed – which is what happens when your room is on the third floor of a walkup. Oy.

By the time that injury faded it was late July. I spent August riding my bike like a fool. I biked all over Portland, Maine, my new-old home. I biked to Kennebunk. I biked to Kennebunk and back. I set a personal record in biking 65 miles in a single day. Averaged about 12 MPH not counting stops. And only drank $20 worth of Odwalla protein smoothies… and 8 liters of water.

I was just starting to get good. Then school started.

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