Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review….

Reading Tez’s blog inspired me to post a year-end summary as well. It seems appropriate at this time of the year to reflect on the past year. I apologize in advance for how long this post is - you may want to stop right now.

January started off with Charlie having rotator cuff repair on his shoulder for a tear he obtained in a fall right before Thanksgiving. This was none-too-soon, since the shoulder was quite painful and it made it especially hard for Charlie to get much sleep (or me either, for that matter). We anticipated a long recovery but Charlie did amazingly well, although he wasn’t exactly following directions by his doctor and physical therapist so that made me nervous!

I spent the beginning of the year researching Bike Fridays – the folding bike made in Eugene, Oregon. Charlie loves cars and I love bikes. Since bike racks aren’t allowed on his cars (picky, picky, picky) Charlie was the one who encouraged me to purchase a Bike Friday. I ordered the New World Tourist in Power Raspberry and love my cute little bike for shorter, more leisurely rides. We took a trip to Wisconsin/ Minnesota in July and the Mustang/Bike Friday duo worked very well. So we made a short trip to the Black Hills over Labor Day wanting to do more of these excursions. I loved riding through Spearfish Canyon and Charlie loved the scenic drive. The bike is very versatile with the Schwable marathon tires – it works well on both the road and trails. We plan to go back to Sparta, Wisconsin next summer and stay at our favorite B&B there and ride the Sparta-Elroy trail some more.

I think I will remember 2009 the most for the weird weather. March was actually not bad; nice weather for the St. Patty’s Day ride in Yankton and the end of March was unseasonably warm and I did quite a bit of riding (at least for me) for that early in the year. Then came June and the Tour de Kota. I have never worn my winter riding gear so much! Fleece lined tights, full length gloves, thick wool socks, base layers of smart wool under jersey and jacket. I not only rode in all these layers, but I also slept in them! Thank goodness for the day to Pierre that at least started out sunny – one of the few times we saw the sun all week. Don’t get me wrong, I loved TDK regardless of the weather. What a great feeling to have conquered those hills along the Missouri River. And to spend 6 days with others who love biking who you can talk biking with non-stop and their eyes don’t glaze over – priceless.

The summer remained cool which made for nice riding weather. The MS 150 ride couldn’t have been better with tailwinds both days! I looked forward to fall riding, especially those October rides to see the fall colors. Instead we had the 3rd coldest October on record and the rainiest ever with precipitation on 27 of the 31 days of the month which drastically cut down my miles for the month. Then a reprieve arrived in November allowing for a few weekend rides. We won’t even talk about the weather in December with the Christmas Blizzard that will go down in history.

This past year I fell in love with a new hobby – photography! I had purchased a Nikon D60 in June 2008 right before our daughter’s wedding but had only used in the automatic settings. I started to dapple a bit with what I could do with the camera and then a fellow camera-clickin’-cyclists mentioned a 2 day photography class being held in Sioux Falls and that was the beginning of the new obsession. My motto is anything worth doing is worth over doing! I'm learning lots from both Nancy and Melissa!

Our house is being taken over by my hobbies with one room in the basement devoted to my bike on the trainer with maps, posters, and mementos on the walls from past bike rides for motivation; another room of the basement turned into a very amateur portrait studio (lights by Bomgaards!), and a spare bedroom turned into scrapbook studio.

2009 has been kind to our family for which I’m truly grateful and give thanks. May 2010 be kind to us all!