Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Friday, January 31, 2014

31 Days In January. 31 Rides In January.

"Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls." ~ Bob Weir, The Grateful Dead

"Keep the rubber side down and ride it like you stole it." ~ Anonymous

"Marriage is a wonderful invention, but, then again, so is a bicycle repair kit." ~ Billy Connolly

It's a new year, 2014, so it's is a good time for some humorous quotes about cycling.  Right now, I'm in the best shape I've been in for the start of a new year since, hell, I don't remember when.  The first day of the new year is usually the day I assess the sorry ass shape I've gotten myself in and make some choices on how to get back in shape.

Not this year.  To celebrate that, I've ridden my bicycle everyday since January 1, 2014.  640 miles and 59,000 feet of climbing.  As I've stated before, there is no flat here in Silver City, NM.  Don't know when I'll stop doing that, but, for now, I like it.  Today being the 31st of January, of course, it was the coldest day yet.  All the other days have been very tolerable.  Today, it was chilly and the farther I went into the mountains, the colder it got.

One downside: weather has been way too nice for January.  Not bitchin', mind you, but it should be colder and wetter.  To date, one snow storm.  The weekend before Christmas.  That's it.  I don't remember when we had precipitation prior to that.  Bodes poorly for the upcoming Spring/Summer fire season.  Had two fires, maybe three, here already.  Despite being the southwest, we do get snow here...or we should.  Very dry out there.

The second half of 2013 was good for me.  I lost weight.  Intentionally.  Now, I weigh less than I did when I got to Upstate NY after riding 3,000+ miles.  As of today, I weight 178.  And I like it.  Makes bicycling easier, by far.  Keeping my cycling up through the holidays was a real plus.  This year will include some shorter tours, so being in shape now helps get me down the road.

2013 ended on a particularly sad note...my nephew, Steven Taft, died while riding his motorcycle home from work.  He made a critical error, which, at 70mph, was deadly.  At any speed, a motorcycle is serious business, so a crash at that speed is fatal.  He had just turned 34yrs. old on Christmas Day.  God speed.

Another nephew, John, is headed into the state of matrimony in September of this year, so life does go on, whether we like it to or not.  No details yet, but am looking forward to the celebration.  I'm more than very fond of John and I'm extremely happy for him and his significant other, Nancy, whom I also like...and I'm ecstatic that he's met someone that he wants to take the leap with.

A good friend of mine, Bob, whom I've known since I was in my early 20's, had a heart attack, along with quadruple bypass surgery, about 6 weeks ago.  I'm happy that he survived this event and sincerely hope that he'll mend his ways and get back on the good road to a healthier life and lifestyle.  Otherwise, in 5yrs. he'll be at it again...or so the research indicates.  I know that no one gets out alive, but why grease the chute, eh?

Well, with that, I'll be getting out of this post with a tune that I have always enjoyed...Richard Thompson doing "1952 Vincent Black Lightning"...in memory of my nephew.