First, some quick background for anyone who has not read my original blog with Amy. I will probably mention Andy, Ian, Kristine, and Suzanne fairly regularly. Kris is one of my closest friends, and she lives in West Virginia. Our sons are also good friends, and I miss her every day. Andy is a very special friend, whom I have known since eighth grade. We have kept in touch for all these years, sometimes frequently, sometimes only once a year. He has been an incredible support and sounding board over the last few years: first through my divorce, then through all the following life changes. He lives in Vermont, so most of this support is through phone calls, emails, and text messages. Ian is his son, and I fell in love with him the first time I met him. My boys also adore him, and we look forward to any time we can spend together. Suzanne is my number one biking buddy, and also a very supportive friend.
Last year, I participated in my first group ride: the Trek 100. The ride was terrific, and I made a new cycling friend (Suzanne), with whom I now ride fairly regularly. I talked about it with Andy a lot over the ensuing year, and asked him to come out to visit and do the ride with me. He is an incredible athlete, so I was sort of asking for trouble, but I asked anyway. It happened that he was willing to come for the ride, and has the weekend free, so he will be here this year. The ride is the weekend after school is finished, so I will be done with classes. I am so excited!!! Andy is as much of a chocolate lover as I am, so one of the requirements of his trip is a visit to each of the chocolate/bakery/custard shops with which I have teased him in the last couple of years. It will be a weekend of riding and chocolate – two of the most awesome things ever! Combine that with my wonderful friend, and I couldn’t ask for anything more!
When I told the boys that Andy is coming for a visit, Aaron (my fourteen year old son) asked when. I told him it was for the Trek 100, and that Andy will be riding with me. Aaron looked at me, and didn’t hesitate even a second before he said, “He’s totally going to kick your butt.” Nice. Also probably true, but it will still be fun. Suzanne, her boyfriend Dave, and her Dad (all the way from Ireland!) are all riding, too, so I’ll have company if Andy is too speedy for me. We are all doing the 100 km ride, which is all I want to do so early in the season. My goal is a full century by the end of the season – hopefully the weather will cooperate!