My Brother and Bicyclesby Chris McCallister
Aug 9, 2012 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line My memories of my brother and bicycling; one of my annual tributes to him.
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When I was younger, before I had a severe accident at age fifteen, I did a lot of cycling. My brother, who was almost nine years older than me, did some cycling, but not nearly as much as me. At some point, though, I think he took my avid interest, and the miles I was racking up sometimes, as a challenge. My brother and I did not share many interests in common, but bicycling led to two very nice memories I have of him.
The first such memory involves bike-a-thons. I had been in several short ones, and then my brother let us know he had signed up for a big one (one hundred miles) from Metropolitan Beach to the Bluewater Bridge (only a single span at that time) in Port Huron and back. I pledged as much as I could afford. They ended up having too many entrants and turned it into a small loop that had to be repeated.
My brother thought that would be boring (he hated anything repetitive and boring) and decided to team up with his brother-in-law and do the originally-scheduled route. The plan was to bike from Metropolitan Beach to Port Huron, where they would meet up with their wives, have a picnic lunch, get some type of written proof from the toll booth at the bridge that they were there, and then bike back. They accomplish their goal, which I found pleasantly surprising, as my brother had not done that much biking. I was also a little envious, as I would've liked to have done that route. I do remember, however, that he was extremely sore for quite a while afterward. He also had difficulties with sitting for several days after that trip. Apparently, the seat on his bike was not the best.
The other memory did involve both of us. We lived, at the time, in Warren, Michigan, and Metropolitan Beach was a nice destination. While it was not the greatest beach in the world, it was the closest one that was on a big lake (Lake St. Clair). Out of nowhere, my brother suggested that we get up very early one summer morning and bike to Metropolitan Beach to see the sun rise. The trip he was suggesting would be about thirty miles round trip, which was no big deal to me when I was twelve (I think that is about how old I was at the time). I quickly agreed, and my parents said okay.
We set our alarms, dragged ourselves out of bed in the dark, got dressed, shoveled down a quick breakfast, and quietly left. It was peaceful riding in the pre-dawn, with almost no traffic. From the few cars that did go by, we received a few strange looks and a wave or two. We did not race, but we set a good pace and, when it began to look like we might not make it to the beach in time to see the sun rise, we really pushed ourselves.
Despite our best efforts, we did not make it to the beach before the sun rose. However, we did get to see the dawn break straight ahead of us as we traveled eastward along Metropolitan Beach Parkway, an east-west street. It was a very pretty sight, in an area that, at that time, was pushing close to the northern edge of the suburbs of the metropolitan Detroit area. While we might not have made it quite in time, to see the sun rise on the beach itself, I still counted the trip as a success. Maybe it was because my brother and I got to spend some time together doing something we both enjoyed.
Happy Birthday, Marc.
Marc McCallister (8/10/1951 to 8/6/2002)
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