Fun Cycling In A Fun City With A Fun Son At A Not-So-Fun Time

Before I write about the fun bike ride I had today, I should probably start with the sad stuff.

You might remember me telling you about how The Feeshko was scheduled to have knee surgery. And with that knowledge you might have figured I’ve been absent from Cycle365 recently because I’ve been so busy helping her in her recovery and catering to her every need. Or you might not have even noticed I’ve been gone . . . or even cared.

Here’s the real story: Sadly, The Feeshko got a call last week saying her dad had suddenly become gravely ill and probably only had a few days to live. We made emergency plans to drive to Spokane, WA the very next day. Unfortunately, her dad died while we were en route.

Now her surgery is re-scheduled for September 21st, so we are spending the next week or so in Spokane for family support and celebration of her father’s life.

Our son, Aaron, is in town too. He lives in Seattle and we haven’t seen him for a little over a year. Like me, he brought his bike with him. Of course, we went out for a ride.

The ride started from my in-law’s house up in the hills just northeast of the City of Spokane.

Here’s the view looking down on the city.

Here are the last few switchbacks on the road leading down from the hill. (Because Aaron’s bike is a skinny-tired racing bike, we opted not to take the brutal, washboard gravel road that goes almost straight down to the valley.)

We decided to ride downtown in search of a food truck. Any food truck. Often, food trucks have the best food in town. Any town. And you can take your food and eat it on a curb or a grassy knoll or a riverside rock — away from any other people.

By the way, besides being my son, he is also famous for being the co-star in the first five days of my first multi-week bike tour. Maybe you remember him from this: Day one is most memorable.

There’s my boy — same goofiness, same hairline.

There he is again. After riding for approximately 180 consecutive days and thinking I’m in pretty good shape, it was very humbling to be constantly struggling to keep up to that guy. He just MURDERS me on hills.

I think he was also a little frustrated when I told him I had to stop every once in a while to take a few pictures for my my blog. He was probably OK with me taking a picture of the world’s largest Radio Flyer wagon because that’s something quite noteworthy, but I’m sure he was wondering “what’s up with you and those damn arches?”

Congratulations on being a Title 1 Distinguished School, and even greater congratulations on your Distinguished Mural of Multi-colored Arches.

Arched openings at the top of a distinguished clock tower.

Five archways on the veranda of the Philanthropy Center. Very distinguished!

Extra credit goes to me for realizing we were going under an arch, digging my phone out of my pocket in a hurry, unlocking it, turning half-way around, and snapping this photo on the fly while trying to keep up with Aaron. It was my proudest moment.

It truly was a fun ride in a fun city with a fun son. When I got back to my home base, I was ready to relax with a delicious beer while I wrote that which you are now reading.

It would be fun to claim that the name of this IPA was purely coincidental, but I must admit that I specifically chose something from the respected Saint ARCHer brewery for the Arch Challenge.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

15 response to "Fun Cycling In A Fun City With A Fun Son At A Not-So-Fun Time"

  1. By: BobinVT Posted: September 7, 2020

    Greg, so sorry to hear about the Feeshko’s Dad. I lost my own dad quite suddenly some years ago and I know it’s a terrible shock. Please pass on my condolences.

    Good that you were able to take your bike along. I’m sure it will provide a welcome break to get out for the occasional ride. And great that you get to ride with your son! Good for you sticking with the arch challenge.

    Hang in there. Sending positive thoughts to you and your family.

    • By: gregblood Posted: September 8, 2020

      Thank you for the positive thoughts, Bob. And, yes, I’m glad I could bring the bike too. I intend to continue my riding streak while here. Cycling always provides the best opportunity to process my thoughts and emotions. Also, ever since my son moved to Seattle and we don’t get to see him that often, we’ve had some of our best bonding experiences while out on our bikes together.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: September 7, 2020

    Very sorry to hear of Freeshkos, and your loss.
    Please pass along my condolences.

    • By: gregblood Posted: September 8, 2020

      Thank you, Rich. I’ve passed along your (and everyone else’s) condolences and they are much appreciated by The Feeshko’s entire family.

  3. By: Scooter Posted: September 7, 2020

    I’m so sorry for your sad news, Greg. Please pass on our condolences to the Feeshko, and wish her the best with her surgery. I’m glad there is family around to share remembrances with.

    And yes, of course your absence was noticed. When is Gregblood going to post again, Rocky has been asking almost nightly, complaining that she needs a good laugh.

    • By: gregblood Posted: September 8, 2020

      Thank you Scott and Rocky for your condolences and and a special thanks to Rocky for noticing my absence. It’s likely I’ll post one or two more times from Spokane — that is, if the forest fires that broke out all over the area yesterday don’t smoke us out.

  4. By: NancyG Posted: September 8, 2020

    So very sorry for the sad news Greg. My positive thoughts are with the Feeshko through this loss as well as for a good knee surgery healing and result.

    I am going to guess that you are now back home. There are fires not far from Spokane now and I would think riding not a good thing for the time being.

    Oh — and welcome back ;’-).

    • By: gregblood Posted: September 8, 2020

      Nope, we just got here on Saturday and we’ll be in Spokane at least until this weekend. While on that ride yesterday, Aaron and I didn’t know about the fires, but as we sat eating our lunch we could see and smell the smoke moving in with the wind. I forgot to mention that wind yesterday even though it was pretty nasty. 30 m.p.h. with 50 m.p.h. gusts. It was blowing dust and sand into our eyes constantly. Fortunately, the wind has died down to almost nothing this morning and it looks very clear outside so I’ll certainly get out on my bike again at some point today.

      Anyway, thank you for thinking of us at this sad time.

      • By: NancyG Posted: September 8, 2020

        The wind storm brought the smoke to us late last night into this morning. It has cleared a bit now that the wind has died down. Will see what this afternoon brings in terms of at least a short ride for me.
        Stay safe.

  5. By: Bill Stone Posted: September 8, 2020

    Condolences and best wishes, Greg. Sometimes sad occasions conducive to most heartfelt family moments.

    I’ve been reading about fires in eastern Washington. Stay safe and healthy. We’re in an ugly mess down here. Back to back days with high temp of 111 in Santa Rosa. Today forecast almost 100 with strong dry winds. All electricity in eastern half of Santa Rosa (that’s us) shut down for “safety” reasons at 3:00 this morning due to risk of sparking more wildfires. Not expected back until Wednesday night. Last night the big fire in Sonoma County reignited and forced re-evacuation of residents who had just returned home a couple of days ago. And there’s this big pandemic thing you’ve probably heard of. I guess that’s why they call California the Golden State.

    Anyway, I was planning to bicycle along the coast today (cooler and better air quality) but now I need to stay home and tend the generator.

    Hope you can make the most of your time in Spokane. Take. care.

    • By: gregblood Posted: September 8, 2020

      Thank you, Bill.

      As bad as the fires are around here, I don’t think they match the intensity of the fires you’ve got, nor is the prospect of containing them as dim — at least anytime soon. You mentioned something about a pandemic. What’s that all about?

  6. By: Suzanne Posted: September 8, 2020

    So sorry, Greg, about the sad news. My condolences to the Feeshko and family – and best wishes for the Feeshko’s knee op.
    Great that you are getting the opportunity to be with your son and that you cycle together, even if you can’t keep up with him. And you even stopped for a bunch of arches on your ride. You must have a very tolerant son.

    • By: gregblood Posted: September 8, 2020

      I thank you too for the condolences, Suzanne. We really appreciate it. Oh, and yes, that knee operation still lurks.

      I think my son and I have a similar agreement to that of Scott and Rocky; I stop to take pictures and Aaron can continue on ahead if he wants. Eventually we’ll re-connect. It’s funny, because I never used to take pictures on a bike ride until I started participating in these internet cycling sites, and I likely STILL wouldn’t.

  7. By: Laura Posted: September 8, 2020

    That’s so cool! I’d love to take a bike ride with my children, but they aren’t the least bit interested. They don’t know what fun they are missing. Sorry to hear about your FIL. Condolences to your wife and family. I wish her well when she finally gets that knee taken care of.

    • By: gregblood Posted: September 9, 2020

      Thanks Laura. That’s too bad your kids don’t have the cycling bug. I’m lucky that my son is a very avid cyclist. I can’t really take credit for that though. Even though I set a good example by riding my bike to work every day for many years, he only became interesting in biking after he left home and was out on his own. Now his bikes are his main mode of transportation. He doesn’t even own a car.

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