Ever since this whole cancer thing started, my Lovely and I have basically lived apart, save for the one weekend home and a couple hours here and there. So, it is not unlike being a single parent of a small child.
Yes, the Boy is 13. Before we knew he has cancer, leaving him alone to go do something was never a problem. Hell, I'd probably get in trouble for how old he was when we started leaving him home alone. But now that he has cancer, his immune system is constantly compromised because of the chemo, so we have to basically monitor him around the clock. We've been instructed to bring him to the hospital immediately if he has even the slightest fever. This obviously means he has to be with someone almost all the time.
Because of this, finding time to catch a ride while I'm alone in Colorado with the Boy is difficult. Sure, I've got family around that is more than willing to hang with him for a couple hours, but it's hard for me to want to put that responsibility on their shoulders should something arise while I'm out fucking around on my bike.
That all being said, I have gotten out a couple times in the last week and a half. I've had a couple revelations on these rides. First, it feels like I've gotten amazingly out of shape over the course of the last 6-7 weeks (not that I was ever in good shape, but now it's even worse). There's a lot of sitting around in the hospital, as well as in the apartment or my mom's house doing things like homework, art or just talking to doctors, nurses or case workers on the phone. Add a little bit more elevation to the mix and all of the sudden, I'm climbing even slower than I did before! WTF? I thought if I slowed down from my previous pace I'd be going backwards. Second, I've found that I've become a big pussy on techy descents. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that I haven't been riding much lately (you know the whole use it or lose it thing), but a bigger chunk is because I can't afford to be injured right now. I mean, obviously I can't afford to anytime, but because what we have going on is counting on one of us being there at all times, it is even more so now. I found myself walking techy stuff that I used to ride without even thinking about it.
But as I said, I did get out. Early in the week, I did a solo ride at Green Mountain. The ride started out with about 4 or 5 switchbacks, which left an iron taste in my mouth. "What the hell? I think my lungs are bleeding!" But overall, it was a good ride.
Then on Saturday, Cleaver had said he might be in the area and we should go catch a ride. Finally about noon, I hadn't heard from him, so I was gonna write that day off. The Boy and loaded up and headed to my mom's house. Just as we were leaving, the call on the Bat Phone came in. We were gonna ride! And Highlander Andy was gonna join us! Cool!
Andy took us to a fairly new state park about 25 miles SW of where we're staying called Staunton State Park. One of the things Colorado does really well is their state parks. Even their smallest parks are top notch facilities.
Anyhow, we did a nice loop there that took us up to 9400', (I was REALLY
sucking air) took us into snowy terrain and garnered some stellar views of Pikes Peak and awarded us with a rollicking descent. The terrain was smooth enough that speed was the only danger for us on the day (Cleaver's Garmin clocked 33 mph). But, almost immediately when we were done I wanted to get back the Boy.
I suppose the further into this process we get, the more I'll "figure it out", but I have to say I've earned a new found respect for single parents, especially a single parent of a child with special needs, I always knew they had a tough job, but now I'm living it. So, good job single parents. If you have any tips, let me know, but I'm really looking forward to when I am part of a two parent household again.