Part of me wanted to call this post “Losses”. I decided on “Changes”.
When I first moved to Potsdam I got a bike and started riding a little. The next summer I started riding with my friend Lorraine . A year later we were joined in riding with another new person to Clarkson, Jen (I have a lot of friends named Jen it seams). As with many things people of like minds find each other and pretty soon Lorraine and I were biking with Jen.
Lorraine, Jen and I all did our first century ride together. It was the Hundred Miles of Nowhere in 2010. I remember worrying, and planning, and feeling nauseous before that ride. 83 laps around the Clarkson campus. Here we are after that ride:
(left to right: Jen, Doug, Lorraine….Look at how I fill that XL biking jersey out.)
Others came and went, but Jen and I did 100 Miles of Nowhere three years in a row. One year Jen and I detoured out 100 MON route by 20 miles to get ice cream.
Jen is a great friend and I enjoy biking with her. I don’t even mind pulling her all around our neck of the woods on a bike. Trying to go hard enough to push her, but not hard enough to blow her up. Usually she is game to try whatever crazy route I planned for a day. Though on occasion the conversation has gone: “Umm, no.” “But….” “NO!”
A couple of weeks ago Jen announced she was moving away. Going to the big city. (NYC actually. You know the place people think of when you say you live in NY.) We got wind of what was going on when I was in Leadville.
Saturday we did a going away group ride (followed by a going away food feast courtesy of Lorraine!). Jen and I haven’t ridden together this year. I was focused on Leadville training and didn’t really ride with anyone. (I asked. No one took me up on my offer to ride with me. For some reason 2x 20 minutes of zone 3-4 crossover intervals didn’t sound appealing to ANY of my riding friends. Go figure.) Jen hasn’t ridden much either. She’s been fighting a knee thing, traveling a lot for work, etc.. It was fun to ride with the group. We rode, we talked, I didn’t worry about heart rate (I did jump on a couple of climbs, but that’s expected!).
I have been in Potsdam a long time. Long enough for it to feel permanent. Long enough that I have met people who have become life long friends. Long enough that those friends have started to move on to new jobs and places. The world turns.
I will remember our group ride where we almost decimated the university brain trust. That was the ride when the guy in the truck crossed over and played chicken with our group. We almost lost Jen (Head of Corporate Development), the provost, a department chair, three faculty members and Lorraine from the Communications Department. Luckily no one was hurt.
I will remember our first group ride with the then new provost. We got onto Pumpkin Hill Road and Jen said something about “going”. I never heard the rest because I took it as a signal to start the attack. Jen and the provost caught up with me a few minutes later when they both got up the hill. Chuck was wondering what was going on. I said you told me to go, so I did. Jen realized her mistake and agreed she said I should go.
Mostly I will remember chatting with Jen over hot coco and coffee.
Its sad to loose such a good friend, but really I’m not loosing her. Things are just changing.
Jen, next time I race Leadville (Why do you say such silly things Doug?) you have to come. No more silly excuses like someone is getting married that day. AND you need to find out about the Fondo near NYC so we can ride together (well at least until the first STRAVA segment, then we split up. But that’s expected right? :)).
Picture of the Day