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My riding in 2016 was always with the backdrop of my dad’s fall, injury, and subsequent death. When he fell in late April I thought to whether we had taken our last ride. My second thought was to buy him a trike for when he healed so balance wouldn’t be an issue. Then I started looking for recumbent tandems in which he could be a non-contributing passenger.
The day after his fall his first words to me when he saw me were “Barry the Biker.” I chuckled. He told me he wanted to get out of the hospital soon so that I could go to Colorado (for Ride the Rockies). I went to Colorado, even though he never returned home, but drove back from Colorado in two days to see him. And I sat out two weeks of prime riding season in September to be by his side.
I really enjoyed our rides the past four years and will miss them. He was a big fan of my rides so these are dedicated to him. In no particular order, here are my top ten memorable rides for 2016.
- Ohio – Trails and Piqua
In May I went to Ohio and despite some crappy weather, met and rode with my friend Bob Berberich on the Little Miami Trail then rode on my own around Dayton and up to Piqua where I had lived 50 years ago.
- Ride the Rockies
I forgot how long a 28-mile ride to the tallest paved mountain road in North America could take. Or feel like. But I saw a bear!
I was a “Bicycle Buddy” with Ayehsa Kang of the Texas 4000 and was able to meet the group in Denver and ride with them for part of a day.
My daughter first balked at the idea that I could take her sons safely on the W&OD but I eventually won her over and took Andy and Aiden on the trail.
The ride was canceled in 2015 due to flooding and looked like it would be again. But it went off under very gray skies. I caught some riders from the Blair Cycling Club in the first two miles and rode the next 98 with them.
An enjoyable weekend. I rode a trail on Friday then went to Rudy’s with my cancer friends on Saturday. I didn’t hook up with any riders on Sunday but Devil’s Wall got my heart rate up to an unheard of 189. But I didn’t stop.
After years of necessary cancer rides, I did a necessary MS-150 ride from Altoona to State College. I enjoyed the route so much that I went back often in the summer into the Fall.
A premier ride in Florida, it fit right with my calendar. It wasn’t horrible but it was much hillier that one can imagine for Florida. And a bonus ride with my friend, John Dockins.
Imagine you’re on a bike ride and a young woman wants to strip naked and jump into the water in front of you. Yep, happened on this ride.
For submission of yet another Royal Order of the Iron Crotch Award (my 6th), these were my statistics for the year:
Name: Barry Sherry
Rider Class: BB
Total Miles: 8,100
Longest Ride: 105 miles (Jeremiah Bishop Alpine Gran Fondo, Harrisonburg)
Number of miles commuting: Zero
Percent of miles on Potomac Pedaler Riders: 0.5%
Date reached 5000 miles: August 11
Most miles in a month: 1,331 (July)
Most miles in a week: 469 (during Ride the Rockies – mountain miles)
Number of weeks without a ride: Zero
Number of 100-mile rides: Five
Most interesting story: Extreme Skinny Dipping
More than the miles, I was pleased that I ended the year averaging 36.0 miles per ride, my highest average miles per ride. I may be getting slower but I can ride longer.
I rode 21 fewer days in 2016 than in 2015 but averaged more than three miles farther per ride.
In the end, it was a good riding year. But I miss and will always miss my dad.