Friday, October 26, 2012

Flashback Friday - When I Met Rozmo.......

If I had to pinpoint the exact moment my friendship with my cycling pal Rozmo started, I would pick BRAG 2004. It would have to be the first part of the week, because that was the year she had to go home mid-week to be with a friend for a medical procedure. We had known OF each other before then, and Rozmo would go back further than that. I guess it's typical of friendships (any relationship?), that one would remember something the other did that stuck with her, and the other has no recollection of the event whatsoever.

A typical Rozmo picture, taken when we had a rest stop at Mayfield Dairy. She said she wanted to show this one to her dad. He must be proud. 

Before my stint as the person in charge of the merchandise truck on BRAG, the job apparently belonged to Rozmo and a friend of hers. Working in the merchandise truck isn't necessarily a HARD job, but it can be annoying. You have to ride like hell to get into camp by 2:00, when the truck is supposed to open. If you're lucky, you have just enough time to shower and change clothes, only to get in a truck where it's approximately a billion degrees hotter than the surface of the sun. The shower becomes a distant memory almost immediately. The truck is open from 2:00 to 5:00, and it does have its pleasant moments. You get to interact with a number of people you might never encounter on the road. Okay, that's the only one I can think of. For the privilege of working in billion degree temperatures, one gets to ride BRAG for free. I did it for several years before I said to myself one day, "Hey...I've GOT the $200 rider's fee."
On the Silver comet Trail.

According to Rozmo, when she was in charge of the merchandise truck, I was assigned to work my shift that afternoon. When I reported to work, I told her and her friend they didn't need to hang around, I could handle it. She was grateful and has never forgotten it, and I don't even remember it.

This looks like a cold morning, but it was actually the first day of BRAG. Rozmo is almost always smiling. 
I do nice things so rarely, you would think that would stick out in my mind.

We started planning rides together after the summer of 2004. We went on a couple of out-of-town rides, and we started making plans to either stay together on BRAG or at least ride together.

Working at BRAG registration. Rozmo worked for BRAG almost fulll-time for a few years, and I was greatly relieved when she gave that job up. That meant we could once again ride together.
Just because two people LIKE each other, it doesn't necessarily follow that they can RIDE together. People have different riding styles. One may like to stop frequently, one may like to stop almost never. One may like to socialize at rest stops and get into camp whenever, and one may feel compelled to get it done and get it over with.

Rozmo and Chico in the RV. Rozmo is a dog person, which is just another reason I like her.
Rozmo and I don't ride EXACTLY alike, but we have adapted to one another's styles and ride well together. Rozmo never met a stranger, and she can find something nice to say to almost anyone. She compliments parents when their children are especially well-behaved, because she knows parents like to hear that. And she's not even a parent herself! But she was an elementary and middle school P.E. teacher for 30 years, so she knows a thing or two about children. And their parents.

This picture is from Paddle Georgia, another adventure Rozmo and I shared. We also shared the same opinion of it, almost. I went home after Day 2; Rozmo made it through Day 3.
Rozmo is one of the most organized people I know. Her things are always packed neatly, and she even folds her DIRTY laundry and puts it in a separate section of her suitcase. She is kind, generous, witty, and an excellent people-person. She can mediate any conflict, even between people she doesn't even know. Last year on BikeFest we witnessed a family dispute on the Riverwalk down below our camping area, and before we knew it, Rozmo was calmly walking the feuding parties up to the parking lot. She's just that kind of person.

This was after a particularly trying day on BRAG when everyone's laundry, which they paid to have done, got jumbled together. The facial expression is staged, but the emotion was real.
Rozmo pushes me to be a better cyclist and a better person. I am truly lucky (and grateful) to have her friendship.

I may have posted this photo before. We had dinner during BRAG at my non-cycling sister's house, and Rozmo was freezing. (She's very cold natured.) Rather than inconvenience anyone by asking for socks or requesting the thermostat be adjusted, Rozmo simply asked for two paper towels and wrapped her feet in them.
No one will ever accuse Rozmo of taking herself too seriously. Just another reason she's my friend.
Rozmo, Doug and I stopped at the "Castle" house on BRAG this past summer for a photo op. I also have a photo of Doug in his plastic bag inner liner, but this post isn't about him.

No comments: