From 1994-2003, the high points of my summers were annual bicycle rides from New York to Maine. Each year, we followed a carefully chosen, 426-mile route leading from my home in Pelham through New England’s countryside to a cottage on Georgetown Island. On arriving, we would rest and feast in a glorious riverside setting. In 1994, two of us made the trip; by 2003, seventeen.
The rides were ritual celebrations of friendship and vitality, and like many rituals, they came at the price of some pain: we went hard. Our yearly aim was to cover the distance faster than we had the year before. In 1998, the four of us who participated – Jay, Carl, Cary and I – managed an average rolling speed of 19.9 mph the whole damn way.
I was sure that in the following year, or perhaps the one after that, w...Read More