Ride: A Memoir to my Father is a moving story of how cycling and the love of riding helped Craig Fry deal with the sudden loss of his father, Lindsay Fry, after he died of a pulmonary embolism soon after being diagnosed with end stage cancer.
Ride is not a story about a famous bike race win, or cycling career, it’s a story of how cycling was used as a coping mechanism to deal with the grief of losing your father. In saying that though, cycling definitely ran in the Fry family with uncles competing in the Melbourne to Warrnambool over 20 times between them, and another uncle competing in the Moscow Olympics for Australia.
At 62 pages long Ride is easily read in one sitting and is neatly divided into 6 chapters starting with a prologue, through 4 stages before finishing with an epilogue.
The prologue starts the story where Craig describes competing in the grueling 250km Audax Alpine Classic with his father cheering him on and offering advice on a sweltering Victorian summer day. 21 months later Lindsay passed away just short of his 70th birthday.
The first half of the book Craig describes father Lindsay’s childhood and working life, his working career, various places he lived around Victoria and hobbies he enjoyed, the diagnosis of cancer and the immense grief and difficulty in coping with his father’s death.
We all deal with death and grief in different ways and Craig’s outlet was getting back on the back and riding, clocking up thousands of kilometres around Victoria including riding the 335 km journey from Melbourne to Wodonga where his father had lived.
Lindsay Fry was born and buried in Camperdown, Victoria and Ride ends with Craig describing his 270 km ride from Melbourne to Camperdown to visit his Dad’s grave after the plaque was set in place. It’s a moving account and fitting end to a fantastic book.
Ride: A Memoir to my Father is available for purchase at Amazon.
Craig Fry is a local Melbourne cyclist, researcher and writer. You can follow Craig on Instagram @pushbikewriter