It's been a pretty good year. It was punctuated with some shitty parts too, no doubt. Some REAL shitty parts. But it's December 31st and in the end, things are finishing on a higher note and the final balance weighs in favour of the GOOD rather than the EVIL.
Since at this time of the year everyone seems to be popping off their top 5 something-or-other lists, I might as well be cliche and join the club. And this will come as a big surprise: 4/5 things are about biking. In Chronological order:
1. The Madone zone:
Nothing can come between a girl and her bicycle. My mail-order husband -- ordered in January -- took all of about 3 weeks to come in. It was love at first sight. My love for my bike even inspired a shot gun wedding ceremony. I guess I gushed about my bike. A lot. Such is my way. And now Mr. Madone, aka "Kermit" and I have been through many a trial together. Several thousand kilometres worth, through Kenora, Calgary, Canmore, he even kept me hanging on the back in the South of Manitoba for that sub-6 200 km. Nope, I didn't have anything to do with all that. It was all the bike. There was one frightening moment when he refused to get on the airplane in Phoenix and went galavanting without me for two days. I wondered if I would ever see him again. But all's well that ends well, as the bard once said. It has been a happy relationship and I look forward to many more years of ride and rider.
2. Mount Lemmon:
On the list of the top 50 rides to do before you die, I have one checkmark. "Mount Lemmon is like dying. It's just something you have to do alone." The whole Tucson trip in itself was fabulous. It feels like it was a million years ago and belongs in another lifetime. It practically does belong to another lifetime. I'm not sure what moment lives more special in my mind: Steak done to perfection at the Hacienda del Sol; Lasagna a la Krauss at the Ranch; or guzzling mountain run-off at mile 16 on Mt. Lemmon. Best tasting water, EVER, and thankfully, on that day, free of parasites.
|Michael Krauss points out Mt. Lemmon in the background. Me, Jim, Sean.|
3. A Reuniting:
Of all things ridiculous about Facebook, once and a while it pulls out a miracle. (Yes, I am on there too much and I'm not leaving -- although one day, if I ever get a life, I will be on there LESS.) I got a friend request back sometime in June or July from the guy I would describe as one of my "first loves." I fell in love with bike boys at the age of 15 because of this guy. It has been fun re-getting to know Dean these last few months. He lives far away but we've had some good chats and one brief visit at the end of August. I think I've inspired him to get back on a bike after about 8 years away. Dean, I can't wait for you to drop my ass flat next year with us both on road bikes. Can't wait. It's good to have you back in my life.
4. The Golden Triangle:
The most beautiful, the most painful, the most soul cleansing ride of my life. It expanded my lungs and the size of my rib cage. It claimed both my legs as a victim and at certain moments, it claimed my sanity too. It also claimed my phone. Oh well, I got a new one. Guy and Wayne were good company and good sports to allow me to butt in on their male bonding ride. What can I say. Everything about that entire time I spent out West in Calgary and the highways of Banff, Yoho, and Kootanay National Parks was about peace and contentment. A much needed way to end the training season and move on to the season of fun.
5. Cyclocross Everything:
When I showed up at Menno Cross barely knowing, the two weeks before, that cyclocross existed, I had no idea it would quickly become the love affair of the year. There I was, loaner bike in hand -- a bike I thought I'd have for ONE race only, but thanks to some clever race avoidance tactics by my bicycle benefactor, turned into a season long affair. I had no mount or dismount skills (Cross labs? When were those?) and about to navigate mud puddles and bunkers and rock beds. If you check out the link to Menno, there is a short video of the race and a nice shot of me doing some sketchy riding through a puddle (depths and bottom condition unknown). I'm the one covered in mud in case you don't recognize me right away. It was riding like I had never seen before. I couldn't wait till that bloody race was OVER and then when it WAS over I couldn't wait to go again. And go again I did, six more times, and each was better than the last. And the post pain amnesia set in faster and faster. I saw my life flash before my eyes on the hilly beast out in Altona -- I carried that fear with me all the way through the Whittier race. It didn't leave until I raced incognito and in the mud once again out at Harbour View. I was just finding my cross legs by Provincials and then it was done. I can't wait to go again. When's the next race? When is it? Huh? Huh? When? What do you mean I HAVE TO WAIT!?
And a bonus:
And this one isn't about me. It's just something that puts a smile on my face and gives me hope. My friend Terri, I would have to say outdoes, even me, in terms of the amount of time she's spent in the land of the cynics when it comes to relationships. I've never in my life heard anyone come up with more excuses to avoid relationships than this girl. And in all fairness, she has some pretty good reasons to be avoidant. So good, in fact, that she has said to me recently upon reading my admission that I steal from my friends lives when I write fiction, that she fully expects me to steal from hers one day and maybe she should STOP telling me crap....... then I reminded her that I steal but I also F&*K with it (you know, remove all the serial numbers, give it an new paint job, and crap like that) so she'll likely never even realize.
I almost didn't send the message I sent. You know that message Terri? The one I sent asking you who the heck that Darryl guy was who was always flirting with you incessantly all over your facebook status comments? Yes that one. I almost didn't send it because I had given up asking Terri such questions because her excuses were so LAME that I didn't want to hear another.
Her reply was: "Darryl is the ex that I shouldn't have chased away. But just friends. And soulmates. But friends. :)"
[That's a cut and paste job, by the way. So no f'ing with Terri's life there.]
That doesn't even MAKE ANY F'ING SENSE, TERRI!
That was my internal reaction. I was much politer in my message back. To make a long story short it was a faith issue, really. Faith is really important to Terri. So not really knowing what it meant to "have faith" (I'm the one, you know, when I step into a church the walls start caving in around me and lighting bolts of death start shooting from the sky -- that's a genetic problem by the way. My father has the same problem) I asked a few key questions and made Terri think about what that meant. What does it REALLY mean to have faith in God? And how do you know -- how DO you know -- that just because someone doesn't buy into organized religion that they don't have FAITH?
Anyways, it was a naive question and a very philosophical conversation ensued and Terri gave Darryl a chance and I'd like to think I had something to do with that maybe? No? For the most part things were already tumbling down that inevitable path for Terri anyway. But it is true that other people's relationships are clearly viewed with happy endings all in place in my crystal ball. It's my own relationships that are confused jumbled blurry messes.
Terri is a really happy woman right now and I, in turn, am very happy for her. Good thing there are do-overs in love. Sometimes.
Oh well, for me there is always 2011.
It's been a good year. I have plans for next year. They are shaping up nicely.
Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for reading. Now please be entertained by evidence of my lack of a life by a handpicked selection of a year of Facebook status's.