Saturday, May 7, 2016

2016: Riding through my Field of Dreams

“And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they'd dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they'll have to brush them away from their faces . . .”

The first time I saw “Field of Dreams”, I immediately added it to my top 10 movie list. Considering that this list includes the Lord of the Ring series, the Star Wars series, “Forbidden Planet”,  “The Fifth Element” and “The Big Red One”, it is a pretty eclectic mix.

But why “The Field of Dreams"?
Ready to roll on TOSRV 2016

I find it a fascinating story, tightly crafted, touching many themes. It blends time travel, fateful choices, missed opportunity, second chances, `60 rebellion and finally,  redemption. I watch it again every couple of year, and sooner or later will have to buy a download or DVD to replace my VHS copy.

There is a family connection, with my Mom’s love of the Yankees, and the golden era stars she grew up listening to, and even had a chance to meet. And looking back at different times of my life, I reflect on those similar themes and questions, and I wonder about the “what ifs” of my own life’s choices.

So what does my 18th trip to TOSRV have to do with a baseball movie?

As I rode the first half of my 18th TOSRV today, there was a downpour of memories, something from every one of those prior rides. With each mile came a flash of recollection, taking me back to rides 5, 10, or even the first 36 years ago. Each memory brought back a smile, and each smile made that mile of pedaling that much easier.

For a time it was as if my legs were ageless, moving the pedals with strength of my early 20's, and yet with all the fluidity of 40 years of riding.

So while bicycling is not baseball, and Ray wasn’t building a velodrome, TOSRV is my “Field of Dreams”.  It has become my annual spring pilgrimage of renewal.  And with each mile, the last year of wear and cares is for a time brushed away.  
All smiles in Portsmouth, 1 day of TOSRV 55 done.

And that explains why I keep coming back to ride this ride that comes so early, is sometimes too wet, sometimes too cold, sometimes too windy and sometimes, perfect riding. I am not just returning to TOSRV, I am my own Moonlight Graham (you'll have to watch the movie), turning back the clock to again be that 17 year-old kid who first discovered the joy of bicycling down a county road.


  1. I haven't watched Field of Dreams in a while, but you inspire me to. I did visit the field in Iowa once. We made lots of new memories in 2016. This was the first TOSRV on a single bike for our 8 year old friend, and I hope he will still be riding it when he celebrates its centennial anniversary. Alas, I won't be with him, but hopefully he will remember 2016 annd all the encouragement he received from fellow cyclists.

  2. Loved this, Jay. With current lifestyle I may not get to ride TOSRV again, but hope to. Yes, the memories, fun, and occasional pain are deep in my 20 rides.
    It would be awesome to have a FoD remake with Ray's dad as a six day racer or TdF domestique that almost was a team leader. Wow! Love that idea!