After the Turkey Day Ride, I did an increasingly rare two-fer - saddling up Saturday the 26th for my second ride in three days. I must admit I spent almost as much time watching my odometer as I did watching the wheel in front of me. It was the usual off-season loop - done "backwards" - but as we went over the bridge shortly before the right turn onto Great Hammock Road (and the shoreline), I finally saw what I'd been waiting for...
That's twenty THOUSAND miles on the ol' Cannondale R900. My wife got me this bike as my ten year anniversary present way back in August, 2005 and I rode my first century ever (accidentally) the following month. I took up racing in the spring of 2006 and have pedaled just about every two-wheeled mile on this frame. The wheels and some of the components have changed over the years, but it's the same bike. And while it's not as jazzy - or anywhere as light - as the latest plastic carbon bike, its aluminum frame still gets me where I'm going, sometimes faster than anybody else. Any sluggishness is definitely symptomatic of my middle-aged frame, not the bike's.
And I don't mind pointing out that that's 20k ROAD miles - it doesn't include all the many miles I put in on the trainer during the last six winters (though it does include some miles on the rollers). So it actually only works out to about 3-4,000 miles per year - nowhere near the totals some of my teammates rack up - but it's quite an accomplishment just the same. Especially considering how much I've abused it in races and such, it's still going strong.
Here's hoping I can eek another 20 thou out of it!
In other news.....
The long Thanksgiving weekend saw not only two bike rides, but the "official" kickoff to the 2011 Christmas Season. And in our little corner of the world, that not only means Christmas lights....
This is the 2011 "Trees in the Rigging" boat parade on the Connecticut River in Essex. Ever since moving to the area, we've been meaning to see this and finally got to it this year. After a more traditional parade down Main Street, everybody goes over to the old steamboat dock to watch the boat parade pass. It's a hotly contested event - and even two kyakers showed up this year - but it seems to be more for the benefit of the tourists than the locals. When the announcer asked who came from less than 5 miles, the Missus and I were the only ones we heard yell. Most folks came from over 50 miles away to see this festive flotilla.
With village strolls, tree lightings and even our own steam-locomotive-powered Noth Pole Express train, there is certainly plenty to see in the area. But this past weekend we decided to be tourists ourselves and headed to Cape Cod for the day. It's one of our favorite places on the planet and we enjoy it no matter what the season. It's certainly less crowded than the height of summer, but Christmastime has its own attractions.
Like a decorated lighthouse(!) This is Chatham Light, all decked out as if the spinning beacon weren't enough to let Santa know where to be sure to stop.
So this is the nadir of the cycling season for me. I was seriously considering starting my 2012 training yesterday (the first Monday in December) - REALLY I was. But, alas, motivation has all but deserted me. The first Monday in January should be just as effective, though I'll have to psyche myself up to actually start training on my birthday. Birthday LT Test? Yes, please. Ugh.
However, in the past few days there have been some developments on my team that make me VERY excited about next season. Very excited indeed. Of course, I can't share any details with you right now. But suffice it to say, after a "holding pattern" of sorts during 2011, I'm really looking forward to the races in 2012.
Thanks for your patience as my blog has been relatively quiet. Rest assured, it'll ramp up again as I dust off the trainer and the rollers for the upcoming winter.
In the meantime, I hope you're having a wonderful holiday season so far with you and yours. Get out to ride while you can - and if you do, keep an eye out for me. You may just catch me out there too.