28 December 2012 - 11:34Hindsight
Yes, here is the look back post that is so en vogue this time of year. It was a pretty event filled year, and thankfully, not as dark and bleak as 2011. While 2011 pretty much was the worst year ever, 2012 was one of transition, and had the occasional beam of light that helped me find my way.
January kicked off with the addition of a Pugsley to my quiver. I call him the Trundleraptor. He made the cold and snowy months so much more enjoyable. I had made the decision that i was going to take “training” a bit more seriously for 2012, as I had my sights set on the Breck Epic. Lots of indoor ride time was logged on the trainer.
February included my 4th (?) annual trip to the Sonoran Desert, where I successfully completed the SSAZ loop injury free, spent time in Sedona, and rode some fun stuff around Prescott. I also played my first game of bike polo. Upon my return to VT, more snowbiking was had.
March. What a weird month. In like a lion, out like a lamb I believe the saying is. We started in the thick of winter, Pugsley riding, rolled right into mud season, and ended riding dry singletrack. The first Winterbike was thrown at the beginning of the month, by MTBVT honcho, GG and SSUSAVT collaborator Ryan Thibault. A rocking good time.
April. A lot of yous fell for my April Fools prank this year. I pre rode the Gravel Grinder loop with temps in the mid 70s. I gave myself a terrible buzz cut. The Grinder was the best ever, with a keg of beer and 20 lbs of chocolate covered bacon. Lots of base miles. Singlespeed-apalooza, my first start in the men’s open category, no sport class for this chump.
May. Lots of riding, a little bit of filming, refining my bikes, and getting picky on breakfast sandwiches. My knee had started acting up again, and I made the decision to pull the plug on my bid for the Breck Epic. A bummer way to start the summer.
June. The wind was leaving the sails, but I still managed to get some quality rides in, tweak the bikes some more. What a lot of folks dont know, is that this is when the “end” started for the bike shop. No local business to speak of, little B29 business via the web, zero availability from my largest brand at the time. I saw the writing on the wall, but I was determined to give it my best effort.
July. Guests from the west. SSUSA. Change. From the outside, no one would ever know that the shop was dying. It was becoming harder and harder to stay positive about the whole thing. It was a heavy burden to carry by myself, yet I still managed to show up there and do what little business came in. However, it was becoming more and more apparent that what little business did come in wasnt even close to becoming enough to make it worth while. The downward spiral had begun.
August. I raced co-ed duo with Ginger at the DH40 in a dress. I was dead sexy. The business was in decline, but socially, my game was up. I found a new appreciation for sitting on my back deck, drinking tequila and trying to make tacos that were better than the last ones. Then I had a severe allergic reaction to some meds I was prescribed, which landed me in a world of hurt. I was out of commission for 2 weeks with chronic swelling in my joints and unspeakabe pain. I got a year older.
September. I went to Vegas, made some connections, saw some old friends. When I returned, I pulled the rip cord. The shop was over. I just couldn’t keep going, and it was the only choice. You know that part in Top Gun when Goose dies? It felt a lot like that, only worse.
October. I also didn’t drink this whole month. Probably saved me a small fortune…
November. Still feeling pretty low. Sitting on a bunch of stuff with no place to sell it, I did a huge liquidation sale, boxing stuff up and shipping it out of my storage unit. It helped keep a few of the buzzards away, but I was not in a good space. I started having some pretty acute panic attacks, which I can tell you are not fun. I know what they are, so I know how to deal with them. I don’t like taking the drugs, so I just curl up in a ball and wait for them to pass, or the world to end. If I feel them coming on, I try and get outside and do something, but often they come with no warning.
I flew out to California, to take on a new role with an old employer. I spent Thanksgiving with friends, and had three long days of driving back east to think about things. I still dont have the answers, but at least it’s a something. I stopped waiting for the apocalypse.
December. The world didn’t end. I got my first paycheck in over 7 years. Christmas was weird, but not unpleasant. It was to be the first of the ongoing series of Dysfunctional Family Christmas. The Pugsley has been ridden.
A whole new year awaits, and while 2012 was a year of transition, 2013 promises to be a year of change. I know of a few things on the horizon that I am very much looking forward to.