Happy New Year, everyone!
I've tried to be careful not to construct false drama in previous posts or tease that I might be potentially announcing something here, like a big goal for 2012. I've been scouring websites, calendars, ride lists, yes... but I haven't written any registration fee checks. Probably won't, not quite yet. I'm letting things take their course, in a matter of speaking, and not really setting myself up to stress about anything specific yet, riding-wise.
There are still a lot of frontiers to discover - after all this time on a bike I love the fact that I still - essentially - have only scratched the surface. I have tossed around ideas about my first 1,000km brevet, my first 1,200km, also... but, alas, there are worthwhile things that will stand in the way of qualification for such pursuits. Finding time to get a complete SR-series before June 2nd (the deadline for qualification for most 1,200km grand-randos) will prove tough, since I already know I have to miss a couple key ride dates locally this spring. I know for sure I want to test myself at the 400km level, and really try to make a 600km happen as well - with a secondary goal of riding it straight-through. While I call myself a randonneur, if successful it will only be my 2nd 600km ever. Lots left to discover, indeed.
Further still, no matter what I do on the road bike, I still haven't done any real mountain biking... or 'cross... and haven't ridden fixed gear in over 5-years... and with both kids approaching local MS-ride minimum age limits, my next big thing may involve their first big thing, if the interest holds. While I still have my own goals, I get more excited at the prospect of setting them off on their own journey of self-discovery - and I'll toss out all my own aspirations to help that happen, if it is indeed what THEY want.
Tejas... yeah, yeah.... the ride date is in late September, which is after me and the kids will be back in school next fall. I suppose it could work, but I'd been holding out hope for a true summer date, like in August. It's still on my list - I can't keep defaulting to the notion that races/rides such as these "will always be there"... because (thinking of the defunct Tinbutt race in Oklahoma) sometimes even the best events evaporate after time. I have faith that the successful and highly-active Lone Star Randonneurs group will still be holding the Tejas ultra-events for years to come, but skipping it again is a risk. Like a lot of things in life, waiting for everything to "line up" is a foolish game... there's always going to be an excuse. At some point I'm either going to just DO it, or content myself with letting it go. While part of me still wants that big finishers trophy for the mantle and to say without hesitation that "yes, I'm RAAM-qualified", this year I know I need to be close to home to ensure my kids first few weeks of their first year in middle school come with complete parental support. Quickly as I say that, my wife will remind me that it's not unreasonable to have aspirations for myself while still being a good Dad... so, we'll see what happens.
So, while there may not be a trophy or t-shirt involved, I still have plans and goals for 2012. Lest I forget, if January 14th goes well, I'll be sitting on five-to-go towards R-12... so it isn't as if nothing is going on. After a recent revisit to knee issues after discovering my saddle height had dropped a little.... but the seatpost DIDN'T (saddle drooping?)... my biggest challenge of 2012 may simply be finding a new saddle and breaking it in. Ugh.
The prospect of a whole new year to go after ANY of these things is exciting, no matter what happens!
Heck, I'm riding a bike... how bad can things be?
2011 proved to be a great year. Better than 2010. So the only thing I'm really shooting for is "better than 2011". I got in a great ride with some good folks on the last day of the year to the Cidermill and back - and while I had to get hurried in the end, it was still a great day out. I took the camera, reminded myself to look at something other than that patch of road 10 feet in front of me - so even at-speed I took in some great scenery, old bridges, and after a couple teases finally got a decent dog-chase on Renner Road. That's a good start...
I haven't organized a Saturday AM ride in a while, haven't attended a weekend group ride in a while (aside from yesterday), haven't put together a DSR in a while, haven't attended a multi-day tour in a while... there's lots to do... trying to pick ONE thing, right now... nah. I don't need any resolutions - because I'm having a pretty good time already, feeling good... just keep it going, and the rest will come. That'll do for now.
In any case, Happy New Year!