Thursday January 26, 2017, 14 miles (23 km) – Total so far: 1,113 miles (1,791 km)
Cedar Key, Fl.
Today was a fun day. Not because it was cold, windy and overcast. Not because I saw incredible sites and had amazing adventures. Nope, it had nothing to do with me but everything to do with John.
I met John when I arrived at our camp site here at Cedar Key. Very interesting fellow with so many stories and as it turned out we shared many of the same interests. Both he and his wife Marina have been Jeri’s friends here while I’ve been riding around. She had told them about my tour and cause and John was very interested to know that I rode a recumbent bicycle.
You see, John had been injured several years ago to the point of being in a wheelchair. The doctors were not sure that he would walk again. John proved them wrong. Not that he is completely healed mind you but he was determined to do the things that made him happy. When they travel, they bring their toys with them. I have gear envy over their Hobie Cat kayak/outrigger/sailboat. They also have bicycles which they ride but which occasionally gives John troubles due to his back. The doctors had suggested a recumbent trike so when I arrived, John was ready with his questions.
I answered as best I could having little knowledge of trikes but lots of thoughts about Clara. Fortunately, there was a recumbent dealer on the Withlacoochee Bike Trail near by, so John was able to try several brands out and obtain more info there. When he came back, there was that glow of excitement on his face. Here was something he could do to exercise, have fun and enjoy the freedom of riding again without pain. One of my greatest pleasures in life is to see someone so excited and passionate about doing something they love.
He choose a trike he liked but there would be a delay of eight weeks until it arrived. Ok, they decided to change their plans and stay in Florida longer. That is, of course, until John convinced the dealer to go ahead and put him on the top of the list. End result, a beautiful, brand new CatTrike ready by Friday.
I anxiously awaited his arrival to congratulate him on his new machine but missed his return. Yesterday however, he proudly presented her and we went for a 14 mile ride together. He kept commenting on how great the trike was but worried about the engine. Sound familiar? Of course he knew that with time, that engine would get stronger and the rides would get easier. He even purchased a basket so his companion Abby, the Maltese, could join him. He joked about her not “pulling” her weight.
I have a saying I like to use. I don’t know if its original or not but it goes, “Don’t just dream about it, do it”. John is a perfect example and I know when I get discouraged, tired, lonely and ready to give up, all I have to do is think of him and his determination to enjoy what life has given him. Thanks John.