A couple of milestones

180. And 365.

The first represents the weight, in pounds, that I could comfortably lift using my legs on September 11, 2007. But that was before I ran into a swarm of bees as I was riding my bike along the beach the next day.

That led to a couple nights in intensive care, followed by another three and a half months of forced inactivity. And that led to a loss of strength — particularly leg strength — and an unshakable goal to get back to where I was before the accident.

One year, eight months and 26 days later, I finally made it. Not that I’m counting or anything.

Last night at the gym, I lifted 180 pounds for the first time since my accident. And not once, but three full sets of 10 reps — and I felt like I cold have done more.

Which means I have just one goal left to accomplish in order to get back where I was before. I used to be able to climb any hill, anywhere. Then turn around and do it again. And again. Now that I’ve built the strength back up, I want get back the hill climbing ability I used to have.

Hopefully, it won’t take another 20 months to get there.

The other number marks the first anniversary since my mother-in-law — my wife’s stepmother — passed away, one week short of her 96th birthday.

It was a hard loss to take. She was the last surviving member of my wife’s immediate family, and had accepted me into her family from the day we’d met. And I don’t think either of us could miss her anymore.

It seems like it should be a sad day. But there was a year full of sad days before this one, and having lost both of my own parents, as well as my father-in-law, I know the first year is usually the hardest.

Although I’ve always been rather fond of this quote from Oscar Wilde:

To lose one parent… may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

It’s not that you ever stop missing them. But after awhile, it just doesn’t seem to hurt as much. And it keeps getting a little easier with time, even if that ache never completely goes away.

We also take comfort in knowing she had a very long, healthy and happy life. It was, simply, her time.

It seems strange to me, though, that these two milestones occurred on the very same day. Maybe it’s just coincidence.

But to me, it’s life’s way of saying it’s time to move on.

And today’s another day.


With a nod to Arthur C. Clarke, Streetsblog questions whether L.A. sharrows are just science fiction, while Portland explores buffered bike lanes. Also from Streetsblog, more proof there’s safety in numbers, and a suggestion that following the rules of the road isn’t just for drivers. New Orleans is working on an interactive bike map that will include road conditions, as well as recommended routes. Vancouver cyclists get directional signs, just like real drivers. Two Calgary riders end up in the hospital after colliding on a local bike path. A 10-year old Colorado cyclist impales himself on his brake lever, which the local reporter evidently can’t tell from a handlebar. Also in Colorado, a woman who killed two cyclists while driving under the influence of morphine and barbiturates — and without her glasses, no less — gets sentenced to three years. REI offers a free iPhone app that lets cyclists track, view and share their routes. Brits can ensure their bikes against loss and liability, instead of hoping you’re covered by homeowners, renters or car insurance like we do here. Finally, an Oregon cyclist questions his own self-righteousness.


  1. Congrats on the 180 and condolences on the 365 — and thanks for the pointer to the REI app, it’s loaded up on my phone and I’m gonna give it its inaugural spin on the ride home tonight. We’ll see how it stacks up against the other battery draining related apps I’ve tried and deleted.

  2. LisaNewton says:

    Milestones reached are indeed moments to be proud of. Kudos on the 180, and I’m sorry about the 365. Life does have a way of keeping on our toes, but physically and emotionally.

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