The Show & The Shave: how it all started

Monday, June 24, 2013

Just beat it!'s promise of perfect June weather sealed the deal for my first bike-to-work day this year. My only intentions for the 27-mile round-trip pedal-fest were to enjoy the beauty of the day, save some gas, and get some exercise. As I assembled attire for the ride—pulling bike clothes out of the storage bin where they'd wintered—a saucy Pink Power! jersey informed me that this would be a theme ride.

When my friend Kay Luma graphic designer and avid cyclist—learned that her sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer, she designed this amazing piece of wearable art-with-a-message in memory of her mother who died of the disease at age 58 and in honor of the sister fighting it. (Read the full story, and BUY ONE of these beauties while you're at it!) Kay's express intent with her "Rosie the Biker" design is  to raise awareness and donate all proceeds to cancer research.

Considering that the fight against the Big C turned personal for me in January when Susan was diagnosed, this shirt now has even greater meaning than when I purchased it over a year ago; and IMHO, my bald head is the perfect complement. (Although, I'm usually biking when I wear it, which means my hairless pate is hidden under a helmet.) I love the upbeat messages emblazoned on the pink background, reflecting Kay's philosophy: "Positive words that focus on life and living to its fullest were important for me to include." With all due respect to this wonderful lady and all her goodness, I wore it on my ride with an additional message muttered under my breath:  "Fuck you, cancer!" And more positively: "Go, Susan! You will beat it!"
What a gorgeous day for a ride! Golden sun. Lapis lazuli sky. Sixty-five perfect degrees. The recurring refrain of my spinning feet, rhythmic breathing, and beating heart became its own moving meditationEvery mile felt like an old friend as I was reminded of the 42 times I'd ridden this route in my Sweating for Shelter  project almost two years before. Good times.

Being on a bike and wearing the Pink Power jersey are a double guarantee of adventure. It is also a sure thing that I will meet someone on the bike path or at Machinery Row bike shop who says, "You must know Kay Lum" or "I have a shirt like that" (which translates to "I know Kay Lum"). This day was no different.

After finishing work, pedaling home, and racking my bike, three indelible messages were the residual gifts of the day.

1) Thank you, Kay Lum!
2) Fuck you, cancer!
3) I love you, Susan. You're winning this battle, Warrior Goddess. Beat it!

1 comment:

  1. And I love you right back. Love the shirt, love the vid! I spit on cancer. Ptuey.