By Mike Lavelle

As the year comes to an end, many of us hope that many of the issues and struggles that arose in 2020 will go away. I am reminded of a few times on motorcycle rides where what started out nice ended with a challenge.
One time I went on a Patriot Guard motorcycle ride, honoring a veteran. The ride was a few towns away and took much longer than expected.

What started out as a ride on a nice warm clear day turned into a harrowing ride at night in the dark (on a highway with no lights and no moonlight), with cold and heavy rain – and my glasses broke (the hinge screw came out leaving the glasses held by one of the two ear “temple” holders).

Semi-tractor trucks flew by and threw rain in my face so that I had water on both sides of my glasses, with the glasses barely on my face, and tilted askew. Hilarious!

To this day, I remember finally getting close and seeing a signpost that indicated 20 miles to town. I was happy but guarded. I still had 20 miles to go in the cold dark of a rainy night. Time passed, and soon the off ramp for me to take was there!

I made it back home, but was very wet and chilled – almost hypothermic, it seemed. It brought on a cold and it took some days to recover, but I did.
The year 2020 presented lots of challenges and many of them will remain for a while. Some new ones will come up and some will go away. I think many of us look for 2021 to be a better year in general. Hopefully, it will be. Even if it seems like the “off-ramp” is far off, or we are far from our goals, change happens, time passes, and what was once hardship and our struggle become history.

Sometimes you just have to hang on and finish the ride.

Mike Lavelle is retired and formerly worked part-time as the editor at The Vail Voice. He lived in the Del Webb community in Vail but now resides in Sierra Vista.

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