30 December 2011 - 8:03Wrapping up 2011
Man, what a ride. To quote Dickens (not Dicky) “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”, it was truly the most difficult year I’ve faced in my adult life. Here is my gratuitous end of year blogpost, all the cool kids are doing it. Instead of breaking it up into multiple posts, you get one long one. I’m just going to limit myself to a few pivotal points, after all, you only have to click on the archive links if you want a more in depth look.
A 14 year partnership ended in a truly crushing way. It was not easy for either of us, but “staying together for the kid” is the worst thing parents can do for a child, and we are both committed to raising a happy healthy child. Instead of letting it fester into a viper pit of ill feelings towards one other, we decided that we would quit while we were still able to be rational with each other, and try and appreciate the good things we brought to the table rather than fixate on the negative. Through it all, we have managed to remain good friends over the last year. There has been a lot of adjustments made, most of them difficult, but we are better for it. This is all I will ever say about this subject on this blog.
The 3 week road trip to the southwest. The timing on this couldn’t have been any better. It was good to get out of Dodge and the many empty miles between here and there allowed me some time for some much needed introspection. Once there, it was fun and friends, and fabulous riding. The highlight was the short time I got to spend in ABQ with my “big sister” Di. She is the best, and I am thankful for having people like her and her husband Slick in my life. While riding White Mesa in NM, something woke up inside of me that can only be compared to some sort of a spiritual experience. It is after all, the Land of Enchantment.
The return to reality. Winter in VT is cold, dark, wet and relentless. I moved into a shitty apartment. How shitty was it? I paid almost $500 to have the carpets professionally cleaned before I moved in, and they were still filthy. That place was definitely a landing pad. I developed a nasty respiratory condition, no doubt because of the mold and dust and other vile airborne floaties in this place. I could feel myself sliding into depression.
Cold. Bitter cold. Gravel Grinder was interesting, I think I might have emotionally bottomed out. I was surrounded by friends though, including some long time friends from San Diago who helped me through it. Having Dejay fly out and surprise everyone at SSAP was probably the best thing that happened to me, it was here that he convinced me I needed to go and crash the Topeak Ergon Base Camp. Highlight: my first ascent of the Bolton Valley access road on my road bike.
Arizona again. Still riding the roller coaster, but it was nice to see sunshine. I didn’t realize how bad my lung fluid problem had become until I got into the arid desert air. I had an amazing time in Sedona, another truly beautiful place. Highlight: Sonya Looney feeling sorry for me and hanging back a bit after getting dropped by everyone on the big ride. It sucks not being able to breathe. Get back to VT, to pouring rain, find that the rain actually causes a waterfall in the living room of my shitty apartment, no longer surprised that this place made me sick, but at least it was warm enough to have the windows open. Rain causes huge flood, washes out roads, ruins annual Burke camping trip. Finally rode App Gap on my road bike.
SSUSA. Back west again, surrounded by friends, fantastic riding and best of all sunshine. I had the entire Niner crew crashed out in my hotel room. Somehow managed to ride really well out there at altitude, even began to have some happy thoughts again. Returned to VT to deal with a crappy local economy, more crappy weather, and the departure of Trek from the shop. Sales didn’t support the massive inventory I had to carry. Happy feelings vanish.
Fireworks and riding new trails in western MA. A much needed ego boost thanks to Dough partnering up with me at the Eastern Cup 6 hr Duo race. A well fought second place due to my front tire exploding, would have been an amazing win had it held. Selling the sort of bikes I should have focused on selling all this time instead of feeling I needed a mainstream brand. Lesson learned.
I miss out on SSWC in Ireland. Turn 40. Irene. And I thought April was bad.
Aftermath. Devastation of the entire town of Waterbury is unbeleivable. Move Jaypro’s PT clinic into the empty bike shop while they rebuilt. The already difficult task of finding a new non shitty apt in Waterbury just became impossible. Moved in w/ Keller until I could find a place to go to. Annual Burke trip had a different tone, everyone felt beat down.
Move to new nice apt in Stowe. PT clinic moves out. Try to squeeze some good rides in. Very pretty foliage this year, and the tourists helped bring some money into our local economy. A visit from my mom was well timed.
Weird weather. Rode a bunch, a lot more than I thought I would. While business has been in a bit of a black hole since August, there have been signs of life. Powering through, fighting for every sale. Thanksgiving was difficult, but once again, friends and family were there.
Starting to feel a lot better about life. Making plans and looking forward to next year. Christmas didn’t suck. Spent time with family. Rode my bike twice so I can safely say I have ridden my bike in every month of the year for the last 6 years.
That’s it in a nutshell. Somehow I’m still standing. I’m ready to put 2011 away, and welcome 2012 with open arms. I would not have made it without the help of my friends, old and new, and of course my family. I am really thankful to have all of you in my life. We have a lot to get excited for next year. I’m gonna leave you with this song, not just because I have a huge man crush on Dave Grohl (he’s dreamy), but because there has never been a song that sums it up so succinctly.
Happy New Year.