It's been 6 weeks and the doctor cleared me to ride again. So I did, and it was fantastic! I was slow and tentative and it took about 2 hours to finish a 1 1/4 hour loop, but I was riding again and that's all that mattered....
That was Thursday. Friday, excited about being back on the bike, I swung by the bike shop to pick up my road bike with the plan of bringing it with me to Tahoe. I figured there would be at least a couple hours at some point for me to get a nice ride in.
As I walked back to the shop area, Matt, the bike wizard mechanic guy, said "Hey Rich, did you get my message yesterday?" immediately my stomach started doing flip flops.....it was pretty much the exact same feeling I had when my high school girlfriend pulled me aside after school and said, "we have to talk".
I forced down the lump in my throat and put on a brave face as I responded "no, I didn't get your messsage, the girls must have deleted it" while secretly wishing I had gone home and listened to it alone where I could throw a fit and cry and stomp without making a spectacle of myself.....again.
"Oh, you didn't?" he asked looking at me in that awkward way a doctor does when he has bad news. "Well, um....we got your new carbon bars in and the tape you wanted was in stock and won't be a problem and the scratch on the chainstay well, that isn't life threatening......but.....uh.....and he hesitated..........my mind was screaming..."come on, out with it, what's wrong? I know something is wrong!"
"Yeah, uh....your fork has a pretty good crack where the brake mounts and you need a new fork"
There it was.....the other shoe had dropped.....my mind was reeling, I felt woozy.....this was my dream bike. This was the bike that had cured me, once and for all, of bike lust. She was fast, she was sexy, she had amazing curves and all the right components.....this was my "last road bike I'll ever buy" bike and now she needed major surgery.
Oh....ok, was all I could manage....I was lost....what was I going to do? I can't even afford the repairs I already agreed to, let alone a new fork.....I didn't want to ask, I really didn't want to know, but like a person watching a car wreck, my mouth disconnected from my brain and just took over. The words came tumbling out without my knowing......"ok, well whatever it costs"