|At the Public House.|
A few weeks ago, to celebrate the memory of the late Kevin Richards, I vowed to update and republish an account of our first ever beercycling adventure in Belgium and France.
The year was 2000, and four (later five) of us rode substandard rental bikes around the countryside in pursuit of ale. It was a blast, and set the pace for subsequent trips of ever-escalating complexity.
I began the reboot, and I have not finished it yet. There'll certainly be a conclusion, but not until December, because we'll be out of town over Thanksgiving, and my work time has expired for now.
In retrospect, the twist in the tale that snagged me most was delving into the photographic archives -- a picture is worth a thousand words, and all that rubbish, except it's actually true.
What I didn't take into consideration while trying to organize and scan these non-digital photos was the impact of 16 years of elapsed time. It's absolutely true that Kevin was the major impetus in getting me back in a saddle, circa 1998, but what I've never really considered is the extent to which this corresponded with concurrent and often wrenching changes in my life (and also rewarding).
These may have proceeded by a glacial pace, and yet the movements engendered back then have left me where I am today, in a more peaceful and comfortable place.
I'm still sorting through it. During six or seven years of tumult, biking time was my happiest time. In essence, Kevin genuinely can be said to have assisted me in saving my sanity. For this reason, revisiting the photos proves to be harder than I thought.
I knew I owed the man a debt impossible to repay. Turns out it's even more impossible than I reckoned. Like I said, I'm still sorting through it.