Reflections on the Year

The season ended on November 8 with a leisurely 10-mile ride in the morning before I refereed a U16 girls’ soccer match. Less than 48 hours later I could barely walk 50 feet and then only aided by a nurse. I immediately collapsed to my hospital bed and took a nap.

My journey in battling prostate cancer is detailed on my Caring Bridge page.

Sorry Dickens, it was the best of years and the worst of years. Keep in mind that I am not a competitive cyclist. I ride because it’s fun and healthy.

I am convinced that my bike crash on Bike to Work Day led to my illness which led to a diagnosis of early cancer which might not have been found until it had spread. While very anxious over my prognosis, I re-focused and raced in the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. I raised more than $3,000 for cancer support and research while riding in the Livestrong-Challenge, a 100 mile ride outside of Philadelphia. And I averaged 20 mph in the Backroads Century on a hilly course in September.

I had a good season on the bike while facing life-changing and life-saving decisions. Wow. It was the ride of my life.

I trained for the surgery even more than for the Hillclimb up Mount Washington. And it paid off. My doctors were generally astonished at the good shape I was in and it saved me from a blood transfusion during surgery. It provided definition to find and spare my nerves. And it has helped me in my recovery.

I looked forward to getting back on the bike and doing it again in 2010. My goals: Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb; a week in France riding with and following the Tour de France; and the Livestrong Challenge in Austin and a Ride for the Roses with Lance Armstrong.

And no cancer next year.

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