In life there are beginnings, and endings. There are alphas and omegas. There are births and there are deaths. We celebrate the inceptions, and we grieve the departures, but it is the time between that constitute our fond recollections. It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the demise of two exceptional friends. Two wonderful companions who have supported me throughout my training and my traveling. They have been with me through thick and thin (more thin of late) and they have served me well. It is with sadness and great appreciation that I part forever from my Canari biking shorts!
These wonderful companions have come to be a part of my cycling experience from the training stages of my first AIDS RIDE, and since that time they have served me well, keeping me modest, padded and dry for three tough seasons! Wicking away the sweat of my labors and enduring all sorts of insults without complaint.
Although I try not to play favorites, I secretly believe that the older pair of Canari (by a mere month or two) know that I love them the best, but as with any really close relationship, that distinction is hardly relevant. I love them both beyond my ability to explain.
Our parting actually began late last season when I began to notice a... shall we term it a greying of the pallor of their formerly proud deep black complexion? Certain contact points seemed to be losing the intensity of their heretofore carbon richness, even though their caressing strength of "containment" remained undiminished. They still hugged me with all the love and companionship borne of untold miles together.
With the fall, as is true of so much of life, our relationship fell into neglect, perhaps a kinder term would be a dormancy. But, when the crocuses poked their blooms through the late snows of a nascent spring, we met again to commence where we left off. I took them from their place of rest, (the bottom drawer of my dresser where they had spent the winter nestled amongst the other biking togs of summer) and as I slipped them on memories of the road and our time together came flooding back. Visions of Connecticut hillsides, swimming in the Housatonic together ahead of the Danbury dam, pounding uphill to Bear Mountain, careening through the down hills barely in control crowed the halls of my memories fighting for their place in the forefront of my recollections. They caressed my body with a sensuality of a knowing lover, caring and gentle in their touch.
Then the unthinkable happened! As I began adjusting the "package" preparing to mount the trainer, a probing finger poked through the delicate, fragile, and surprisingly frail spandex. My friend issued forth a plaintive, barely audible, brrrt. An intimate panel had been violated!
Closer inspection revealed the cause of the tragedy. Endless repetitions of the vertical stroke of my left leg had worn the fabric of juncture of that leg and the seam holding the "sensitive padding" of the central front portion of the short to a gossamer thinness, and the force of my adjustments had been too much to withstand! Alas four years of sweat, grime, mud, sand, wind, rain, washings, dryings, wringings, packings, stretchings and yes scratchings, pokings and adjustments had brought our relationship to our final chapter!
Oh, we still meet in the quiet privacy of the basement training room, hiding in our shame. But our days of happiness out in the company of others have sadly come to an end, as modesty precludes our sharing our relationship in public! Besides we both know that the days of our sharing our time together are numbered and that they probably will not outlast the spring even in the quiet protection of the training room. So, we choose to guard these fleeting times, holding them close and private until we can share no more.
Soon I will go out into the world to seek replacements for my friends, but it will be with a heavy heart, knowing full well that although I will in fact buy the same shorts once again, they will never quite be the same, ever!
It is somehow fitting, yet spooky that the litter mates failed in the same week in almost the same spot. I would assume for the exact same reason. Perchance they could not bear independant of each other the seperation that I must face ultimately alone!
These friends have served me well! I can recommend them fully!