A friend is sometimes asked to give the shirt off their back.
Well, I hope none of my pals need one real soon. I just can’t part with mine yet.
This bicycling shirt is one that landed in my closet — and on my back — when my husband and I rode the last stretch of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.
“Did you happen to pack my bicycling stuff?” Bill asked as he rummaged through our gear at the campsite. “I’ve got my helmet and gloves, but I don’t see my bike shorts and shirt.”
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Uh oh! I remembered washing his cycle socks and setting out his helmet, a pair of gloves nested inside, but was the rest of his bicycling outfit still folded in a drawer?
“I think we should drive into Kellogg tomorrow morning,” I said sheepishly, remembering how he’d loaded the camper, readied the bicycles and located our maps while I packed our bags. “We can at least get you some padded shorts.”
Bill protested that he’d be just fine in jeans, but with morning’s light we spotted our Jeep’s flat tire. Fate had ridden in overnight demanding a shopping trip.
So while the SUV got a new set of tires, Bill got a new set of bicycling clothes.
It was while he was in the dressing room at the bicycle shop that I spotted my "gotta have it" shirt — bright yellow, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes and a moose emblazoned on the front. To me it captured the essence of our Idaho cycling experience over the past couple of summers.
From Plummer to Mullan we’ve bicycled — back and forth each day — camped, stopped at quaint cafe or two and taken in the sights on this paved former railroad bed.
At times, as we’ve ridden along rivers and through verdant valleys, I couldn’t believe there could be any more spectacular or peaceful trail than this 73-mile ride.
I’ve been delighted to find a new bike shirt that will always remind me of the memories.
Since arriving home, I noticed www.friendsofcdatrails.org printed on the sides of my “victory” shirt, the website in contrasting blue. Curiosity took me to the website where I learned about volunteers whose mission is to “promote, educate, encourage and assist in the development of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes."
If anyone deserves a cheer, it’s this nonprofit group that helps make this trail a beautiful ride for all bicycling friends.
At times, I imagine its members have given the shirt off their backs to make it happen for the rest of us.