In 2018 Paul and I will turn 45. This year also marks the 30th year that we have been riding/racing bicycles. While I have never been a prolific winner, and I had to work hard to be a mediocre Cat. 3 racer on the road, this is truly a sport/pasttime that I love. The only thing I can think of that I have consistently done longer than ride a bike year in and year out is read books on a regular basis, that habit started sometime around 1986 or so.
Long gone are the days of training, resting, racing, repeat. It’s not like I ever had World Tour dreams, I’m far too practical for that sort of hair brained thinking. However there were times in our teens and up until our mid 20’s that life was about training and racing for Paul, myself and most of the friends we hung out with. Most of my good friends to this day are people I met through the racing community. We’d spend almost every weekend together for 8+ months of the year. Road, mountain, cyclocross races. They would start in March and back in the day go through until December.
As I got older things like a career, saving for retirement and “adulting” became important. I didn’t want to be one of those 40 year old category 2 racers who works in a coffee shop and has $20 to their name, just one good crash away from financial ruin. If that is what you want to do, so be it. However Mia and I have an end game. An important part of that is to be retired at a reasonable age that allows us to enjoy ourselves still, not just stop working because of health issues. Bike racing life has also taught me that there is a significant correlation between the older you are and martial status. I.E. there is a greater number of never married or “recently divorced” guys after you hit your mid 30’s who still race “a lot”. Not saying you cannot make it work, just pointing out in my experience the majority of older racers are not married (at all or anymore).
Truth is racing for me personally was always more about the adventure side of things. Visiting new places, traveling, seeing new things. It is probably why I have gravitated towards the bikepacking/touring thing more and more in the past few years. It’s not always about how fast you get to the end. A lot of the time it is about the stuff you see in between. Lucky for me, a chance meeting on a random ride led to my friendship with Dean. He tends to look at cycling a lot like I do. It’s the adventure of it all.
I’m really looking forward to what 2018 has in store. There are some plans brewing for some really spectacular rides. I also have a few personal challenges for myself this year that I will keep to myself at this point.
2017 ended with a fun ride up out of Skyline Sno-park. Heavy rains the night before made the snow a bit soft. It was rideable for the most part, but man it was a workout. Dean and I rode out to Little Crater Lake. I was hoping for a loop, but we opted for an out-and-back considering the slowness of the ride. Almost 3 hours to do 13 miles!
Unfortunately the little crater lake was partially covered in ice and you didn’t get the super clear views to the bottom that I have seen in the past. I told Dean he should come out and camp out here with his RV to see it though. Totally worth the trip.
I also started off 2018 doing what I love……..took the Trek Farley out to Hagg lake this morning for a mucky loop around the lake. The trail was mostly frozen except the top 1/4″ or so. Made for some slick conditions at times. Great way to start of the year though.
So welcome to 2018! Here is to many more adventures and shenanigans!
Thanks for reading,