Hello! It’s been awhile.

I’m still assaulting the mountain.

To say there have been some changes would be an understatement.  We sold our home of over 20 years and moved to our newly built house (Note: Purging and packing 20+ years of “stuff” is no fun). Our youngest finished her sophomore year of high school and started her junior year in a completely new town. Our middle child graduated high school and is a freshman at Central. Our oldest child is a Senior at CMU.  Christine has already participated in a musical with the local theater company and found a job in our new hometown. I continue to work from home in a nice warm first floor office as opposed to my Michigan cellar with plywood desk.  I travel as little as possible. Some months I fail terribly at that but fortunately much of the travel is flying so not as much time on the highways as in past years.

We now live in a port town so I get to nerd out and watch lake freighters come in every few weeks to deliver and load goods. 

Life is good but often challenging as we face the reality of our parents aging and the imminent release of our children into the wild.

I did get to enjoy a couple of months of cycling last fall in the new neighborhood but I took somewhat of a hiatus over the winter.  While I enjoy riding on my own and find it helpful for stress relief, I miss my riding partner Tom.  He helped keep me accountable and pushed me to ride harder and more often.  I am hoping to join up on some group rides this spring that the local bike shop organizes and that should be nice.  In an effort to motivate myself, I signed up for a very tough 200-mile gravel ride in June.

Sancho 200

My training for the ride has started in earnest with a few weeks already spent on my trainer in the basement.  I don’t fancy riding inside but it is very convenient and the weather is always perfect.  It also allows forces me to stick to set goals.  With several work trips in the next couple of months I have to stay on top of the riding or I will never survive 200 miles of gravel and seasonal roads.  The fitness level is going up but I still have a long way to go to even match where I was last May/June when I did my big rides.

Looking at the graph, it makes me wonder why I even attempted Mount Mitchell.  I was ill prepared and still can’t believe I made it.  I would certainly never attempt it again without a much higher base of fitness.  Combine that experience with my 24 hour ride in June and I have a much better idea of what I need to do this year. 

Let’s see if I can pull it off.