Many people were shocked and saddened when they heard about the passing of Robin Williams. I was certainly one of them. To save a lot of useless and cluttered words, simply, Robin wasn’t one of the people who went out and changed the world; he changed the way we feel. I’m grateful for the gifts he gave us all. Robin had a long public career and touched several generations with his love of laughter and feeling.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) assisted in organizing a memorial road ride in his honor this past Sunday (IJ Story). Robin was a resident of Marin County and a highly visible member of the bicycle community. Several hundred people attended the ride on short and spotty notice. A group of riders left from San Francisco and another group from Fairfax to meet up at Blackie’s Pasture in Tiburon. A few words were said and folks were counted. From there the large group did a slow ride around the short section of Paradise Loop and then went their separate ways. It was a lovely day and a great turnout.
A few friends and I then rode through Strawberry to Mill Valley for coffee and treats after the big group activity. We were all on road bikes and this was especially nice as I’d never ridden through that part of Strawberry and Mill Valley. I was on a flat bar road bike as I had been forced to convert my regular road bike to commuter duty after breaking my last commuter. Still, 25c tires but with a compact crankset with 11-32 gearing for San Francisco hills. I figured that doing something stupid and asinine was just what the day called for so I went out with my single tube and another tube and CO2 that Penny Vaughan lent me to ride dirt over Mount Tam back to Fairfax. (I’ve been inspired by a recent movement of riders doing real dirt rides on real road bikes. Here’s to them as well.)
A little care was used to navigate the roughly fifteen miles of dirt road and some singletrack but things went well. Despite some numbing in my hands I had a smile on my face for most of the way. The day wasn’t about rushing anywhere.
Railroad Grade to Ridgecrest Road to Arturo Trial to Rock Springs Fire Road to Sky Oaks Road to Deer Park Fire Road. 45 miles and 4300 feet of ascent.
Surprisingly, I didn’t get a flat on the ride but instead found the front tire empty after hanging out at Gestault for an hour or so. A few quick pumps at Fairfax Cyclery got me home without walking.
Thank you Robin. You made me laugh and cry many times over. I’m so grateful.
There’s been talk of renaming the Waldo Tunnel after Robin Williams. I am definitely behind that. It’s a fitting mark. Only one thing, more rainbows. Lot’s more rainbows.