It has been a year, and I still miss
her just as much. Nancy was my best friend, my closest buddy
here in New York; she was
the person who I talked to almost every day. She was always ready
to listen and share life’s daily dramas.
It is winter 2003, and I was
out riding in the park last night. It was cold and snowy, and
a little lonely. It has been over
a year since I have seen Nancy, and I can’t believe how
much I still miss her. The park is not the same without her.
I used to ride with her several nights a week, we would motivate
each other to get out there and train. I have found that without
her there, it is much harder to get on my bike and ride. At first
it was just because riding my bike reminded me so much of her,
and it would make me profoundly sad; but now it is just that
there is still a great big hole in my life that no one else can
I met Nancy on the bike. I met her
in the cold winter into spring riding in the park. I think that
was, maybe in 1999? I didn’t
get to know her right away; at first it was just Nancy sightings.
I had been racing for a number of years already, and here was
a new girl on a bike, riding in the park at night, doing the
night ride. I knew right away that she was gutsy and persistent.
It took some courage to do the night ride, which had a reputation
of being very hard, and a little treacherous. As I learned by
and by, Nancy had courage. By the time I met her, Nancy was already
on the Bike Renaissance squad.
I got to know Nancy better later in
the year. I think it was a day in late spring when I was riding
in the park in the evening.
It was late enough in the spring that it was still light out,
and I was able to only wear arm warmers instead of a heavy winter
jacket. I remember having some sort of allergic reaction to something,
because my arms had turned blotchy and they itched. I was commenting
about this to a small group of women that I was riding with,
including Nancy. Nancy immediately mentioned that she had some
sort of cream that might help; she had gotten it from her father
not long before and no longer needed it. It was so matter of
fact the way Nancy offered to help that it impressed me immediately.
She gave me her address and said that she would leave it downstairs
with her doorman. Here was someone who I barely knew, and this
was New York(!), and she was so generous, with a willingness
to help someone that she hardly knew! It may not seem like much,
but this was Nancy’s spirit in life: she was generous with
her time, her heart, with her things. Nancy was able to see goodness,
and that is where she put her energy.
I don’t even remember how it
happened that we became friends after that. We just naturally
clicked. Before long, she and I
would talk almost every day, about life’s little things.
Mostly we talked about people in the bike racing community; because
racing and training sometimes took up almost twenty hours of
our weeks, there was usually plenty to talk about. As I got to
know Nancy, I also learned about her devotion to her faith (this
was something that also impressed me immediately about her; it
is not often in these times to find someone so faithful). I found
it inspiring. I had a great deal of respect for her for not only
being so faithful, but also for following her passions in life
while maintaining her beliefs. I learned more about her family
and her other friends, accompanying Nancy to a few Jewish events
on the Upper West Side.
I met Nancy’s mom, Suri, when
Nancy and I went to Colorado for the weekend. She drove us to
the airport. I remember remarking
to Nancy that her mother looked so young and pretty and also
how lucky she was to have a mother that would do that for her.
Nancy always spoke well of her parents; she may not have told
them everything that happened in her day to day life, but she
had tremendous respect for them, and it was so apparent that
she came from such a loving family.