Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Hello there Blog! Thought I forgot about you, right?

The truth is, I've been too tired when not too busy to write. I've got two vacation days though, while Sharon is up north visiting our grandson (and his parents too) for his birthday. He's an adorable 9 year old today. Anyway, I have a few SLOW minutes and realized, "Hey, I can type out an entry today!"

It's been a good riding year, all things considered. The Alabama Backroads Series has really generated more interest in the various previously unconnected local rides around the state. Ridership is up across the board. Thanks so much to Pixie Hicks for being the dynamo behind this idea. I only rode one of the 13 centuries this year, but pedal partner Candace and I have agreed to do at least 4 in 2016 and earn the coveted Backroads Series Patch. If we get carried away, we may do more. In addition to the one I actually rode, I volunteered at 3 more rides (Selma, Marion, and Montgomery) and rode 2 events not in the series, at Kymulga and the local Lions Club charity for sight outing. I'm more of a cross country rambler anyway, which is why I tossed my name in the hat to take over the AL Regional Brevet Administrator (RBA) job. A great guy and inspirational cyclist, "Fixed Gear Steve" Phillips was our RBA before passing away this year. Solo, self supported riding is in its infancy here and maybe I can pitch in to help it grow. I doubt my stamina for the long hauls, but I can do the shorter ones and facilitate the rides of others on the ones beyond my strength. You'd think that the national agency ( would be happy to have volunteers, but they're actually very picky and they seek to preserve high standards, so I may not get the nod. Regardless, my OTHER pedal partner Angela wants to do a P-12 (a series of a dozen rides of 100 - 200 KM) so I'm already committed to turn the cranks in 2016. 2015 has been an improvement in mileage over 2014 already with a couple of months left to go.

To do that stuff, as well as work on my public cycling safety initiative, I'm stepping down as the chair of the local bike club ride committee. They will be better served by someone who is local more than I am, and who appreciates carbon and clips more than I do. I'll still come out and ride whenever I can, but I won't HAVE to be there, if you know what I mean. In the overall spirit of re-working my cycling, I culled some jerseys and other items I don't wear from the hoard and put them up for sale. It's turned out better than a garage sale! The $ comes in handy and it feels good to have less clutter. There is more out there to clean up though. Does anyone really need a half dozen front deraillers PLUS the ones already on their bikes? And so on.

The cities of Prattville and Millbrook have responded positively to my requests to present public cycling safety instruction through their Parks & Recreation departments. Looks like that will kick off in February. Maybe Wetumpka and Montgomery will get on the bandwagon too. The impetus was seeing a car right hook a casual rider, who was at fault, a few weeks ago.

Cycling continues to be an avenue to reach out to and connect with people. I've had some heartwarming interactions with people recently that still make tremble with awe and appreciation. How do we continue to show the care we exhibit to those stranded road side when we are off our bikes? That's the next challenge. I'm thankful for some of the friends made in my other hobby (pen collecting) too. One in particular really touched me recently. It is a real blessing to have friends. I am thankful for all of them. Here are just two.

It's also still a blessing every time I get on my bike and pedal. I was reminded this weekend that there are those whose circumstances keep them from doing something like this and who would trade places with me gladly. There is a verse in scripture that tells us to learn contentment in our circumstance, whatever it is. It's easy to be content when you have a great family, good friends, and opportunities to spend enjoyable time with both. I pray that I am able to be as content when the deck is not so stacked in my favor.

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