Friday, October 10, 2014


In 1978, this offbeat new sitcom came into existence - Mork and Mindy.  I was young and poor, and much of my entertainment was listening to my records and watching TV, so I tuned in.  It was a winner... I watched it regularly.  I thought Mindy was cute as a bug (that's very cute... right?), but it was the zany antics of newcomer Robin Williams that kept it truly interesting.  (According to the Wikipedia, Williams came in to audition with the producer of the show... he was directed to a seat, and stood on his head in the seat, and was hired on the spot.)

Over the next 30 years, Robin Williams became a household name and part of our culture.  He made a wide variety of movies, playing everything from "manic Robin Williams" to straight men to sinister scary dudes.  And of course, whenever he got the chance to cut loose, there was no one better at frenetic high-energy improvisational comedy.  He sure caused me to laugh - and groan - a lot, over the years.

Off-camera, one of his passions was bicycling!  Did you know that?  It wasn't well-publicized, but he loved to ride bicycles, would hang out with Lance and visit France during the race of the same name, etc.

When he took his own life earlier this year, it shocked even his best friends.

How could a guy who made us so happy, be so sad?

So, why do I bring this up in a blog about cycling?  Well, I already mentioned his love of bikes.  But also... there's a saying among motorcyclists, "You never see a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist's office."  Suggesting that motorcycling is therapeutic and brings peace of mind.

I certainly believe that to be true... unless maybe you're a white-knuckle edge-of-control motorcycle rider, and maybe even they get to release some stress.  (I don't think it would work for me.)

I believe bicycling is even more therapeutic!  Or at least I know it works that way for me.

Maybe Robin had let dust collect on his bicycles for too long.  Evidently he was very, very disappointed about how the Lance Armstrong soap opera turned out.  I s'pose I can understand.

Depression - chronic depression - is a serious condition, and obviously hard to understand if you don't suffer from it.  I had a younger sister who was a brilliant over-achiever.  As we were growing up, I know it was hard for my parents to not say, "Why can't you be more like your sister?!!"  She graduated from medical school at the top of her class, and very young.  Two or three years later, after several unsuccessful attempts, she committed suicide.  That's the last time I cried like a baby.  I couldn't understand how such a gentle, gifted person, beloved by everybody in her circle, could feel so bad about herself and her situation.  I still don't.  I still miss her many years later, and I'll miss Robin Williams, too.

(I happened across an interesting article about Robin Williams and his love of bicycling... HERE.)

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