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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487

    My Unusual Amazing Bicycle Ride

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    I suffer from chronic depression. Along with the grief from Donís passing January 21, 2017, I am on an emotional roller coaster. The one thing that seems to give me some relief from the emotional exhaustion is bicycle riding. I know you have all ridden a lot more this year but for me to have 100 miles under my built is extremely wonderful for me! On the days I ride, I do feel better.

    On many of my rides I go through a gorgeous preserve. Friday, on my way to the preserve I decided I wanted my biking jacket. I was only at the end of the street so I went back and got it and rode on. Unfortunately, halfway through my ride in the preserve, I realized I wasnít wearing my helmet. So I turned around. On my way home riding in the preserve I took a wrong turn and wound up on Duluth Street.

    While I was riding along on Duluth Street an elderly gentleman rode his bike out of his driveway and I nearly crashed into him. I had to stop and so did he. We visited a few minutes. I noticed had a small red tool box attached to the back of his bike. I asked him if he was ďtool-man.Ē He said ďkind ofĒ and he could do small repair jobs. He was riding over to his neighbors to help him fix something. I told my spouse died in January and I had so many tools I didnít know what to with. I wanted to sell them but didnít know how much any of them were worth. He said he was interested. We exchanged names and addresses. He told me his name but I soon forgot it. I also asked him if liked to bicycle with someone who didnít go really fast. He said would love to!

    Well, I decided to go on a bike ride around Medicine Lake. When I got home, he was just leaving my house. He said he was hoping to catch me.

    I thought he was pretty harmless because of the way I met him. Plus I figured he had to be at least 80 years old. (I'm 65) I took a chance and let him in the house. He looked at lot of the tools and told me that I was asking far too little for them.

    Then we got talk about biking. He said it would be fun to riding with me and we should do it

    I didnít know where the shed key was so I couldnít show him the bike rack I am trying to sell. He came back over Saturday, looked at the tools again, and. Iíd found the key so he helped me bring the rack into the garage. The rack wasn't what he was looking for. But he said he really would like to go biking. We love nearly all the same trails. It is nice because we both we can ride them!

    He came in and visited. I asked him what his last name was again. He told me. We went on to have a great conversation. He seems like such a caring individual. He said he know how to fix the lock on my front door and would do it for me. He also is going to show me some other stuff that I should really know how to do.

    On Sunday I rode my bicycle to my sisterís house and told her about it. I was so excited, I would have someone to ride with and to help me with Donís tools! She looked me so strangely and asked if I had the name right. I said yes. she showed me this:

    https://apps.cla.umn.edu/directory/profiles/jparadis

    She knew who he was and met him. And to think I almost crashed into him. And to think we might go bike riding together. And to think I will just have a friend. He is married but he is not a homebody like his wife. He knows I didnít have a clue to who he was. When He came in my house I told him please donít steal stuff from me. I have enough problems as it is. He just seemed so trustworthy. I imagine he was laughing under his breath.

    I am not going to tell him that I know about him. I think maybe part of the reason he wanted to help is I donít know who he is.

    What an experience. And I have a new friend who likes bike riding and can help me with my grief.

    I am praying this is real and that it lasts. If I hadnít go back to my house for the jacket and then for the helmet I would have never been on Duluth Street at the same time he rode out his driveway. The timing has to be perfect for me to almost crash into him.

    I had such a release from depression and grief yesterday. I felt like a person who actually enjoys life.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,143
    The antidote to depression is social connection.
    I say this to every one of my clients. Just when you want to hole up and isolate is when you need to force yourself to connect. Almost 100% of the people who do it say it is hard, but works.
    And I don't have to tell you about the mental health benefits of cycling. In many cases, it works as well as medication for both depression and anxiety. I am not anti-medication, but I always try to help people understand how endurance activities and being outside works.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    What a great story. I hope you enjoy many bike rides with your new friend.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    What a wonderful encounter! So happy for you that you made a connection, and that you'll have someone to take a ride with.

    Electra Townie 7D

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    680
    Loved the story, kajero. Thank-you so much for sharing it. I've been there, too (especially riding as therapy), so I know how hard it is to take a chance and trust, again, but it is so very necessary. I regard loneliness as the greatest disease of them all. It's a slow death, eating away at you both physically and mentally. So glad to hear that you are reaching out and fighting it. Good for you, girl.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,664
    That is awesome, kajero! Aren't you glad you took the risk on this man and gained a new friend and cycling buddy!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,048
    That is a wonderful story- thank you for sharing.

    On a possibly related note, this week on PBS news hour and on NPR I heard interviews with Sheryl Sandberg, who lost her husband at age 47 to heart attack. She wrote a book called Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy. It might be something you would find helpful.http://http://www.npr.org/2017/04/25...-whos-grieving
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

 

 

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