Jan 15, 2011

Fresh Starts Yet Again

Red Dawn
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
New Years is always a good time to make some fresh starts, hence the time-honored tradition of the "New Years Resolution". Who doesn't want to leave something behind and move on to something new? New Years eve is the perfect time for this since it's so culturally engrained in us. The schlock cartoon imagery of the old man in a night shirt being hustled out the back door by some sort of baby comes to mind...

As a matter of policy, I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore - I reserve the right to change course and reassess things continually. Nevertheless, the end of one year and the start of another is a logical time to evaluate one's reality and wonder if some course changes aren't in order.

I've already taken the measure of my progress on publicly announced personal goals here.

I have been less forthcoming on plans for the next year, however.

That's not because I am not thinking about it, but because things are in flux. It's difficult to plan anything when so many things are in motion. Nevertheless, one can't stop thinking, can they?

I think I did very well, all in all, on moving to a bike-centric lifestyle in 2010. I rode to work way, way more than I took the bus, and have driven so little it's starting to not make much sense to keep the truck. Kudos to me for that. Little things, like picking up toothpaste and shampoo downtown, rather than running a stand-alone errand for that kind of stuff, has made a big difference and made this a lot easier.

What I didn't accomplish in 2010 was more serious recreational riding. I don't have any long rides under my belt from last year and I really sucked at hills all year. I did manage to lose a little weight, which I am trying to keep off, and hit a perfect 120 over 80 on my blood pressure, so all is not lost, but I could certainly be doing more.

That is, if my schedule permits. Or perhaps more accurately, if I manage my schedule to accommodate this. It's all about choices, you know.

I'd like to stick my toe into long distance cycling this year. On Friday I was invited by a friend to join a Gran Fondo in Oregon that includes about 4,000 feet of climbing. My initial reaction was "no fucking way could I do that", but in retrospect, I would like to be ABLE to do this, so that's on the to-do list this year. That's going to require paying attention to mileage and some diligent long rides, but I think that would be something worth striving for, so I'll put it on the list this year. I may have to hook up with the HC boys to get the long rides in, but if that's what it takes, it's probably the most enjoyable way to do it.

Despite the bravado of Gran Fondo and perhaps randonnuer aspirations, I also would like to continue my exploration of enjoyment cycling. I am past thinking that I could smoke the field in a crit or dance on the pedals past everyone on a hill climb, but I really had fun screwing around with my 3-speed and organizing a few lazy rides around the 612. The whole point of the 3-speed was to slow down and discover how to enjoy bicycling and not sweating. That was a success, and I intend to replicate that in the coming year. Stay tuned for more 3-speed rides and other shenanigans in 2011.

Not related to cycling, I've hooked up with a writer's group, which I intend to continue. After my first meeting, I've concluded that stuff that falls out of my brain and on to the page is as good as anyone else's, so I am curious to explore this a little more deliberately this year and see where that leads. We'll see how that pans out in the long run.

No mileage goal this year, again. We'll see what happens, but I bet it will be better than last year. That said, I will be tracking mileage, either in Bike City or some other application.

I also want to continue building my skills with bike repair and maintenance. I am contemplating completing the Park 40 hour course this year. No decision yet - I need to do some more research on that before I can determine whether or not it would be worth the cost in PTO hours. Nevertheless, I'll keep learning what I can on the mechanical aspects of bikes and restorations of bikes.

That seems like enough for now, and it seems right for now.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure I have a route or two that involves 5000 ft of climbing without leaving the metro. ;)