Monday, September 14, 2009

Rest in peace Dan Carey

Friday was supposed to be a good day. I had taken one of my furlough days. At 10, I was supposed to go over to the Urban League and learn more about their bike shop operation and see what I could do to help. From there, I was going to head out to Salisbury and do the Mt. Riga ride that I always talk about, but never do. Despite the rain, I thought it'd be cool.

I was putting the bike in the car and getting ready to go and Luis called me. I had left a message last night on his phone about dumping in Keney Park and bad it's getting. It appears that actual dump trucks are now driving into the section behind Keney/Waverly and leaving building material waste. He's got an ordinance submitted about raising the fines and increasing signage (that I wrote). These dumpers definitely need a $5k fine and perhaps have vehicles confiscated.

But, the phone call wasn't about that at all. He called to tell me that our Town and City Clerk was found dead in his home. While there was no reason for me to disbelieve him, it didn't really sink in right there in my driveway. So, I drove to City Hall to see if it was real. It was. City Hall had ground to a halt and most everyone was milling about looking very distraught, myself include now. I drank like four cups of coffee and paced around. I couldn't figure out why this had happened and I knew that there was nothing I could do to help. So, I left.

Brendan in his stylish PVC raincoat.

I'm not sure if it's selfish or not, but I went for the bike ride anyway. I knew that it'd be steep, arduous, pretty and solitary. Those were all the sorts of cathartic things that I was looking for. Mt. Riga Road was pretty steep. Sunset Rock Road was really steep. It averages 10% for two or so miles and is unpaved. I also have finally seen Bash Bish Falls. Cool falls.

As I riding along Mount Washington Rd. along the high valley the separates the Taconics and Berkshires (or at I think it does) I was thinking about how when I mountain bike, I get this sort of a deja vu for certain sections of trail. As in, when I pass through that section I'm always remained of someone or some event. I don't know if anyone else gets this, do they? But, I was thinking that whenever I'm on Mount Washington Rd., one of my favorite roads anywhere, now I'm going to think about Dan Carey and his passing. And some how, this ride was a tribute to this guy that I really respect and with whom I was privileged to work. I don't how know meaningful or whatever it is considering he wasn't a dude who ride a bike, but he did often have bike messengers in his office combing through land records for lawyers and would not understand why I'd ride my bike to work in a snow storm.

I'm sure the City is going to name something after Dan and that's fitting, because his name needs to be imprinted somewhere in the City he served with honor and skill, but for me Mt. Washington Rd. has been renamed.

Sorry about the maudlin post, but I'm pretty broken about all this. Here's the obituary.


Interstatement said...

Far from selfish, a reflective ride is a fine and fitting way to cope and pay respects.

During my father's final weeks of life this past spring, the greatest respite in that emotionally weighty time was the evening an old friend handed me the keys to his motorcycle for as long as I needed. A few hours traveling the backroads of New York and New Jersey helped me regain needed strength and focus to continue through some very difficult days. I had rushed to New York when my father had his heart attack and did not think to bring a bicycle, which also would have been nice (especially my battered and beloved Trek, which belonged to my Dad.)

I didn't know Dan personally, but based on several friends' fond reminiscence of him, I think he would heartily approve of your ride.

murbike said...

Hey, we all do different stuff to deal with loss. Your choice was pretty cool.

Do you have any more info on the Urban League bike shop operation? I have several bikes that my kids have abandoned due to the physical growth associated with feeding. They (the bikes, that is) range in size from teeny to almost real size.

I'm going to look it up on the interwebs, but sometimes life is easier when one has a guide.


Brendan said...

@murbike- shoot me an email oiseaux at and I'll give you the phone number of the guy over at the Urban League. Justin Knight is his name, but I'm guessing that he probably doesn't want me posting his phone number on the internet without his permissin.

murbike said...

Cool, thanks.
I'll reach out to your Gmail account.



Mark said...

You weren't riding on the AT were you?

Brendan said...

No, that's not allowed.

If you check Crankfire, there's an entry for Mt Washington State Forest that I made for the mountain biking stuff. There's really only one trail. Most of blazed trails in that area are not passable on a mountain bike anyway.