Saturday, December 29, 2012

flipping the page on my mayan calendar

Maybe that's all the Mayans meant, flip the page. Or buy a new calendar. Anyway, it wouldn't have made sense for me to review 2012 as a cyclist if the world was ending anyway. But's a look back at my year in cycling.

One pleasant part of 2012 was the mild winter. Several rides in January and February were comfortable with little more than long sleeves. And I even got in some hill repeats and a 50+mile ride by the end of March.
In June I returned to South Dakota for my third Tour de Kota. This year was a loop beginning and ending in Dell Rapids. It turned into a tri-state affair when we spent part of one morning in Iowa, and most of another day in Minnesota. This TdK featured the first overnight outside of South Dakota when we were hosted by Marshall, MN. It was a fun tour with lots of rolling hills and lots of miles for six days in June.

In addition to lots of solo rides in July, I spent Saturday mornings riding with Brad, Roger, Bill and Rodney. And when everyone else had other commitments, Roger was ready to ride as he was training for the MS150 in September. It helped me continue to pile up the miles prior to my next tour, the CRMBT.

When August arrived I was excited to get back to the mountains of Colorado once again. I couldn't even wait for the tour to start, heading towards the New Mexico border to ride La Manga and Cumbres Passes before going south to Chama, NM and northwest to Pagosa Springs.
My fifth Colorado Rocky Mountain Bicycle Tour was filled with old friends. It was great to see the organizers, volunteers, and riders who keep coming back to this tour, as well as meeting new friends.

The route covered some ground I had ridden before, but in the other direction. It was still beautiful to ride Wolf Creek, Slumgullion, and Dallas Divide. Then I explored some new roads when we headed to Telluride for a rest day, and on to Lizard Head Pass and Hesperus Hill before returning to Pagosa Springs.
September and October felt a little anti-climatic pedaling around eastern Kansas after climbing the peaks of Colorado, but the weather was great and I still got lots of good rides in. Since then the weather, and feeling under it, have kept me off the bike. But I'm already signed up for next August. And if it ever warms up, I'll be back on the road. In the meantime, I guess I have to get on the trainer. It's not the same.

Happy New Year to you and your families!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

bicyclists are coming to town

To the tune of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”

Alert the motels
Ready the school
Let the restaurants know
To serve something cool
Bicyclists are coming to town

They’re taking a tour
All through the state
Colorado in August
I can hardly wait
Bicyclists are coming to town

They’re riding in the morning
And in the afternoon
And if a cold one waits for them
Then they hope to be there soon

O! Alert the motels
Ready the school
If your town has one
Open up the pool
Bicyclists are coming to town
Bicyclists are coming to town

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

mostly plants

I haven't written much about riding lately, because I haven't done much riding. Many folks around here have been battling some kind of virus?, that seems to hang on forever, and I count myself among them. Therefore, even though we've had some nice days in November and December that would warrant a ride, I've stayed indoors and tried to get to feeling better. I think I'm close, and hope to be back on the bike soon.

As for my transition to a vegan diet, the "sacrifice" of it has been surprisingly easy. The logistics of it are a little more of a challenge. Giving up meat and dairy was easy for me as long as I'm cooking for myself and making my own choices. But, there are so many things I never thought about before that can make it harder. We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with some friends, and passing on the turkey was easy, but I did eat a little of the cranberry salad which I'm sure had whipped cream in it. And the yams or sweet potatoes, which I love, had marshmallows on them. And I was OK with deviating a little from my normal routine.

Before I headed down this path I never thought of marshmallows as something a vegan wouldn't eat. After learning that the gelatin in them comes from animal byproducts, I get it. And when my wife asked if I still was taking fish oil supplements, I told her that I was, and honestly, it hadn't even occurred to me to stop. Then I realized that the "fish" oil and vitamin D, that have long been part of my morning routine, are gelcaps, my eyes were opened further.

Some people have asked why I would even want to make such a drastic change to my diet. I totally understand, and wouldn't expect everyone to even want to do it. But for me, it started as a way to better health, and a preventative measure against future health issues. As I learned more I liked the idea of having a smaller footprint on the planet. It's just one person, but everyone can do what they can. And finally, I've long been bothered by the little I knew about the way many animals are raised and processed. Not enough to do anything about it before now. But now I've found my way to this place, and I think I can do my small part to help.

I've met people who call themselves strict vegetarians, and mostly vegans. And as far as I'm concerned I don't need to worry about labels. I'm going to keep trying to make healthy choices, forgive myself when I don't, and do what I think is right.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

everything is holy now

When I was a boy, each week
On Sunday, we would go to church
And pay attention to the priest
He would read the holy word
And consecrate the holy bread
And everyone would kneel and bow
Today the only difference is
Everything is holy now
Everything, everything
Everything is holy now

When I was in Sunday school
We would learn about the time
Moses split the sea in two
Jesus made the water wine
And I remember feeling sad
That miracles don't happen still
But now I can't keep track
'Cause everything's a miracle
Everything, Everything
Everything's a miracle

Wine from water is not so small
But an even better magic trick
Is that anything is here at all
So the challenging thing becomes
Not to look for miracles
But finding where there isn't one

When holy water was rare at best
It barely wet my fingertips
But now I have to hold my breath
Like I'm swimming in a sea of it
It used to be a world half there
Heaven's second rate hand-me-down
But I walk it with a reverent air
'Cause everything is holy now
Everything, everything
Everything is holy now

Read a questioning child's face
And say it's not a testament
That'd be very hard to say
See another new morning come
And say it's not a sacrament
I tell you that it can't be done

This morning, outside I stood
And saw a little red-winged bird
Shining like a burning bush
Singing like a scripture verse
It made me want to bow my head
I remember when church let out
How things have changed since then
Everything is holy now
It used to be a world half-there
Heaven's second rate hand-me-down
But I walk it with a reverent air
'Cause everything is holy now