Tuesday, February 7, 2012


During my ride today I had a lot of time to think.  Some people like to ride to music, but I like to ride to my thoughts.  Anyway, I though a lot about my best friend Danny. Danny isn't exactly what you'd think of when you'd think of best friends.  We don't see each other much, and most of the memories we have come from before we were even in high school.  But, every year, without fail, Danny calls or now texts me on my birthday, and every year until now, I never returned his call.

My mother would tell me several times a year that Danny had called to say hi, and that I should get in touch with him, but I never did.  I always meant to, but never once did I ever actual make good on my word.

Rewind to last year.  I was turning thirty, and I wanted to have my then "best friend" Stew and his wife come in for my birthday.  I had spent a lot of time with Stew through high school, and we had grown close, but soon after he was married our relationship fell by the wayside.  He was living in Virginia, and I in New York-not a long trip by any means but he rarely made it to see me.

I had mentioned to him in advance that I wanted him to come and celebrate with me.  Excuses abounded, and eventually he never came through.  As I thought about it, I realized that he had NEVER gone out of his way to see me.  I was always the one to go to him.

Now back to Danny; the guy is a rock.  From the time we were little, Danny has been the most loyal person I've ever known.  He's had some tough turns in his young life, but he always comes through and I know that beyond the shadow of a doubt, if I ever needed anything, he'd be there for me, no questions asked.  I'd even go so far as to say that if I ever decided I wanted to kill someone (not that I would!), and called Danny, the only question he'd ask is "Who's drivin'?"

Danny has taught me the real meaning of a friend.  It's not someone that you see all the time-though that certainly can be the case; it's not someone that tells you what you want to hear-though that can happen too.  A real friend is someone that never forgets.  It's someone that has your back no matter what, and would go to the end of the Earth to help you in a jam.  A real friend is a dude from my old neighborhood named Danny.

So this year, to give back just a little to a person who, whether I acknowledged it or not, has always been my best friend, I'm going to give him a bike.  When he found out how much I rode, Danny was in awe.  He never realized the fun that you could have on a bike, or the fitness you could gain from it.  Everyone that rides knows the feeling of freedom it gives you, and transports you back to that time in your life when you couldn't drive, but could still get where you wanted with pedals and two wheels.  I know Danny wants that again, and I want to make sure he gets it.  No one deserves more to feel happy, fit, and like a kid again.  

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