MICHIGAN BICYCLIST | Winter 2009
Winter’s as nasty as I can remember, I’ve been blessed with a bacterialinfection and pneumonia, and we just came from burying a dear friend.(As for the economy, don’t even go there!) It’s hard to send the kind of positive message we all need in the depths of Michigan winter.Yet, to lose a friend, you rst have to have made one. Our friend PasqualeMarion didn’t have much of a bike connection. He came closest by ridinga bike everywhere when he just couldn’t afford a car. He smoked; evencancer couldn’t help him quit.He gave Lance his propers, and LeMond before him, but his true loves were baseball,football, hockey and basketball; I’m not sure in what order. Oh, I forgot horse racing — andgambling.Thirty years ago, he cut my hair; he cut it from then to last Thanksgiving. He cut and styledmy wife Jane’s hair; he cut our kids’ hair before they ed the nest. He worked with care andpride — to the point where it hurt his income. He cut the hair of some wealthy people, but hetook just as great care of people no one else wanted.Pasquale wasn’t just our friend; he was a friend to everyone he met. It was hard for himto hold a grudge, no matter how badly someone treated him, or how deeply he was hurt.(“Knuckleheads,” he might call them.) He’d say, “I’m tough; I can take it,” even as he facedthe ravages of cancer, and treatments often equally painful. He was terried, but he was alsotruly tough.The last few years were very hard. Sometimes unemployed and always underemployed, helost a home, his car, even his telephone — a hairdresser’s lifeline. Often worried, sometimesdown, he never came up our stairs without a beatic smile. He never failed to love up our dogsand our grandkids. I never saw anyone treat nurses and aides and waiters with more courtesyand honest appreciation. For him, it was natural. And there is no one I’d trust like him.And now, it is hard to grasp that we won’t see that smile again, or feel his deep concern forour small life problems, even when he himself was in need or despair. Memory oods withhis kindness and empathy, through Jane’s cancer, my parents deaths (yes, he cut my mom’shair when she lived with us), to losing two dogs to cancer. No one felt others’ pain as deeplyas Pasquale.So, what’s this got to do with bikes? Think of all you know and love, people not necessarilymuch like you, and ask how many you met through cycling.Before the Internet as we know it, CompuServe lled a similar role. There many peoplerst experienced the now-common “online community.” I joined the Cancer Forum and theBicycling Forum, which led me to people I came to value, many to this day. Back then, a formerstar like George Mount and a new racer like Robbie McEwen might join the discussion.Through the Cycling Forum, I met Dan Langille, who picked me up at the airport andshowed me Wellington, New Zealand, and Aidan McGhie of Glasgow, who came down toLondon to meet us. Ken Lyons of Arlington, Virginia sent me the rst cancer links. Sincethen, we’ve met on Chincoteague Island almost every year, where we ride 40 miles a day — ona three-mile wildlife loop.Joining us there have been: the Rev. Kim and Kevin Brugman, also of Virginia, and latertheir boys and tandems; Bill Whetstone, the Forum’s “sysop,” formerly of Rhode Island, nowFlorida; David Loewenstein who became a Miami Beach bike cop; and Dianne and MikeClingerman, who have hosted me and Ken Lyons for TOSRV for several years. I’ve riddenwith Bill Stevenson in Florida and Al Fischer from Western Michigan, among many. I’m stilllooking forward to riding with Barb and Larry Reade of Buffalo.
By DANTE LANZETTA, LMB Board Chair
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Ride Leader - Shoreline West
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