One of the best parts of mountain cycling in NC is the characters you meet along the way. I love to be part of the action, with so many personalities in play.
One rider who joined us on occasion was Charlie Robinson. Charlie liked the mountain life in NC, where he spent half his time...the other half was working in his law practice in PA.
I took special note of Charlie because he rode a steel frame Waterford...that's a fine piece of equipment made in Wisconsin. Guess my home state pride got the best of me.
Last Thursday, Charlie made our Valle Crucis ride. We had a good time, passed and re-passed each other, and drafted the downhills. During our final catch-up point, I pulled up shoulder to shoulder with Charlie; it was typical bike rider chit chat. We climbed up the last big hill, then coasted in to finish the loop.
This Tuesday, Charlie was on another group ride out of Banner Elk. From what doctors could piece together, he suffered a massive stroke, which in turn caused a crash and head injury. Charlie died Friday morning.
We'll never know when God is going to punch our ticket. It may be something we're prepared for, or it may be unexpected. I plan to continue my conversations with the Lord, so that I'm very familiar with Him when it's time to take the ride out.