Sunshine Spin

In honor of Lance, and my goofball friend Barbara, and that guy with the cast, I reprise Bonus Time:

Back at the finish, we sat around on the lawn in the shade of a big tree for a while. The guy on the beach cruiser was there, grinning, and Charlie and Katie rolled in the grass.

Later in the afternoon, everbody got back together at the park for drawings for a bunch of swag. Barbara, the organizer, called bib numbers and if we were there, prize action ensued. There were bike tires and Harley Davidson beer glasses and water bottles and all manner of goods donated by the event’s sponsors. I won a helmet and explained to Barbara that it was destined for the head of my cancer survivor wife.

The guy on the old beach cruiser came up to collect a prize – I wish I remembered what – and Barbara pointed out that he is a cancer survivor, one year out. So now I understand the grin, and the fealty to a beautiful old Schwinn beach cruiser and the way he didn’t seem to care about the discomfort of riding with a big cast on his arm. This guy is on bonus time.

If you’re in Albuquerque and you’ve got a bike, you could do worse with your Sunday morning a week hence than riding in this year’s Sunshine Spin. Barbara Tyner, the organizer, an artist and bike racer and impish angel, uses it to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. She understands the importance of living strong and celebrating survival and the next great thing after you get through the current one when the current one might suck. She understands bonus time, and whether you hammer the long ride or just take the leisurely river ride, it’s a chance to celebrate being alive on the morning of July 17.