July 2, 2011

Still very much alive

Every time I have previously cited "work has been crazy" in these pages has been completely trumped by how this year has been. Work-wise, 2011 has been indescribably busy - and this is not the place to really lay all that out, only to say that its the reason for the quietness on this blog. I haven't had a chance to update anything, haven't had time to ride enough to warrant an update, and barely justifying having a social network account - used recently just to update songs that are stuck in my head and occasional remarks about the weather. I am riding to work, yes, but the commutes are only part of "going through the motions" at the moment. Okay, okay; I can't really say that the commutes have been drab and un-interesting, only that my mind is so cooked at the end of some of these workdays that I haven't had the bandwidth to NOTICE the world around me. Curiously, the traffic around me seems to be more understanding these days - or I've lost the ability to care about it too much. It's still FAR better than driving when it comes to relieving the stresses and toils of a long workday - but the rides themselves have been utilitarian and utterly unremarkable, and because the workdays have extended to occupy nearly every weekend since late April, there isn't any time to "recharge" with a ramble, meander, or distance ride out into the country with no destination.

A few high-points, however:
  • some of the best sunrises in recent memory
  • some of the best sunsets in recent memory
  • laying to rest all of the "fit and leg issues" of the past 9 months
  • feeling very strong again and seeing average speeds (like they matter on a commute) increase steadily
  • seeing the number of cyclists encountered to/from work increase
  • seeing that nothing has changed in the "wave-back ratio" department, unless panniers are involved
2011, as far as randonneuring, has been a big "zero" so-far. I don't like the self-imposed feeling of trying too hard with regards to long-distance riding any more than you probably don't like reading about it - but, I also don't like saying "can't" or "quit", so I find myself at-odds quite a lot. I still feel strongly that I have unfinished business with regards to personal goals and self-fulfillment - and that's all it's really about. The attraction is as palpable as it was the first day I cracked past 100 miles and kept going.

Perhaps the pull is becoming stronger again as I approach the big "four-oh" landmark in my life. All of the dreaming and banter over beers in the past decade and not having made good on it quite yet - albeit for the right reasons - is perhaps the swansong of everyone that ever picked up anything and considered it more than a hobby. Where do I take this introspect? Do I put it on the webpage for all to see? Can anyone learn from it? Does it even help *me*? If anything, the last year has refocused my desire to live healthy, and get back to that "fighting weight" - and I know its exhausting to read sometimes, but I need to do it. I am still a strong believer in the "if it doesn't kill you..." paradigm, and I'm still very much alive at this writing. Be warned - when it comes to the bike, I'm relentless.

I think a good, long ride will do me some good - and, for once, it sounds like fun... not forced.
Strength - it's coming, and all I need is a free weekend to open up to let the doors of long-distance riding swing open! Oh, look -- a 3-day weekend....


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