Another year comes to a close, and everywhere can be seen a year-end wrap up. Being an inherent sheep, I of course feel compelled to deliver one also. So as they say on the BBC World Service, Here again are the main points.
New Job for Mrs. Stallion
A great weight was lifted from both of us when my wife embarked on a new career as a manicurist nail technician. After toiling for years at a job she didn’t like, she finally took the leap into a new profession. I can sympathise as I had a similar episode some ten years ago. Nothing can suck the life force out of you like having to go to a job you hate every day. Kudos to her.
Cancellara at Milan-San Remo (and Swiss Tour)
The best performances I saw in road racing this year both came from Tony Spartacus himself, Fabian Cancellara. At Milan San Remo, the way he powered up at the last kilometer of a seven hour race was amazing. What a way to stamp your dominance over the competition. Not to be outdone in his home tour in June, he won two stages including a turn-yourself-inside-out sprint win in the final stage. It was a career year for the Swiss rider, and he shows no signs of decline heading toward 2009.
Goal of Lake Desolation Road
My personal riding goal was set the previous winter. I had decided at that point that the whole purpose of my outdoor season was to successfully complete the climb up Lake Desolation Road. It was great motivation; the more I talked about it, the more I trained for the endurance required, the more I wanted it.
Alas, I was only able to complete it with a stop near the end. However, it will become a part of my seasons as I go forward. It’s a great route to take when I want to do a long ride – there and back is nearly 4 hours.
Discover some new roads in Charlton
As a result of my Desolation training, I rode quite a bit into the town of Charlton. It’s a really nice place to ride – long stretches of road with wide, clean shoulders, very low traffic and pleasant scenery. The intersections are few, and I get to ride through farm country. I even went past a farm that was raising miniature horses. To do all of the miles I want to in that town I can easily be out for 3 hours. It gets a bow on it at the end, as I come home by way of my favorite “berg“; a short but very steep climb about 6 miles from home. Sweet.
I can’t let this very venture slip past. In August I launched this world-altering blog. My stats via WordPress are encouraging. I’m not overwhelmed with visitors, but I can definitely see that I have my readers. To all of you, I say a hearty thanks!
Skipping Century in favor of Ocean City
I rode to Lake Desolation on September 1st. A few days later, Mrs. Stallion and I took a needed vacation in the tourist trap of Ocean City, Maryland. It was a refreshing few days at the beach, shopping, eating treats and generally chillaxin.
The timing was interesting. I had a conflict of sorts; there is a well-run Century ride every September here the weekend after Labor Day. In this year’s case, that would have been on the weekend we came back from vacation. I knew I was in better riding shape than I was when I first rode it in 2006. However, common sense prevailed (I think) and I chose the beach instead. Next year though, I think I can destroy my previous time of just under 7 hours. Somebody hold me to this.
Better “off season” setup
As I write this, I am about 25 feet from my bike. Last year that wasn’t the case. I have been promoted from the basement to what was a spare bedroom. It’s nice – I’m not freezing when I start and it’s a much friendlier environment. The multimedia experience is in effect; 7 Carmichael Do the Tour stages on CD and 4 Spinervals DVDs on the TV. With all this, you’d think I would be on the trainer more but for some reason I’m averaging less rides per week. I have 10 rides in December (11 for sure before New Year’s), but it should have had a few more. It’s a nice segue into the next stanza:
No time off in January?
Usually, I take a week completely off of riding during the first full week of January. It’s a time to recharge, heal annoying pains and take a mental break. But with the (unintentional) reduction in riding this season, I might skip skipping. I’d hate to hang on to all those extra holiday calories I threw down. I’m not sure I could handle the guilt of intentionally not riding for 7 days straight.
Wow, that’s a lot for me to say. I hope I haven’t driven too many of you away with this diatribe. Maybe I can pull new people in by using the word “goth” again. The last time I did that my hits spiked.
Let’s see how long a tome like this can hold me over. Have a great new year everybody. Open roads for all and keep the rubber side down.