Well, loyal readers - I pulled the drain plug on the second R-12. I hate typing that: you gotta know that much about me - but, this was the right choice. Too many things started coming up that made me have to make choices that I didn't want to make. Not that I owe exhaustive detail on this, but the kicker was September itself - a lot of family holidays and kids sports games eliminated weekends. Those are easy choices: I refuse to put my cycling goals ahead of rooting for my kids on the sideline, or holding a video camera at a recital - my life, and my cycling, will be around when they are grown: but they'll never be this age again. The only other open weekend houses my wedding anniversary. 'Nuff said. Without the family, the R-12 means nothing.
I pulled it off in 2008 with much more careful planning, I'll be honest. The weekends were easier and there was less happening at work - but I was on it. Heck, even earlier this year was easier than the last six weeks have been. With more kid activities this year and more stress with new responsibilities at work, something had to give. Trying to plan the rides, reschedule after reschedule, missing opportunities to ride with other rando guys at the last couple brevets of the year - it was becoming just another stressor, instead of the fun and release they're supposed to be. Finally, last minute over-riding priorities finally conspired to make this - todays August R-12 requirement - fall through in the twelve hours prior to launch.
So it goes. I do not consider the first six rides of 2010 a 'waste'. I still finished them, still had a blast, still rode some great routes with some awesome people. That's worth plenty...and at the core, the rides I've shared with friends - rides of any length, to be clear - they're worth more to me than a medal. I can toss all the medals and ribbons into a box and chuck 'em all in the attic, and I've still had an awesome time riding.
But, yeah... I'll still pursue randonneuring. It's the niche I fit in to, and I love it. ...and I'll probably start up another R-12 run after things calm down. In better times and with better planning, it keeps me focused on staying active, staying fit - but hey, pressure's off for now.
Instead, today I rode to Baldwin City, KS and back - something I haven't done in years, but this time on probably five miles worth of gravel, taking roads I'd never considered before last weekend's gravel 40-miler. Not a bad day.
Fitness, the route, I don't think that today's 200k would have been a problem - but we'll never know. I'll be back. Couple things I DO know I haven't done in a while: a 400km and a 600km brevet. And, the grandaddy 1200km....
Goals are good - you know me. No announcements yet, but focusing on an SR series for 2011 wouldn't be a bad thing.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned.