The Road Travelled

I suppose I could lament that another year has passed without me riding that century, but it really doesn’t disappoint me when I remember all of the other miles, places, and sites that were part of this year’s adventures.  2008 saw the most miles ever, although there is still plenty of room for more next year.

There was a lot more road riding this year, rather than rail-trails, which resulted in more exploration.  I enjoyed that.  It was particularly fun to go west into Cumberland County where my family lived for my first six years.  I plan many more rides out that way, and am pretty sure that when that century ride happens, it will be on those roads.

We also took more family rides, but again, there is room for more.  What’s cool is that I sense that we all want to do it, and we can make time for it to happen.  Still, the veloterrorist and I got out for a few short rides, and we made a few nice trips onto the HRT.

As for gear, the most significant addition was the dynohub setup.  While this certainly wasn’t pocket change, the expense was buffeted by eBay and the availability of good used stuff.  The result is that I can now go out after dark for extended rides and feel reasonably comfortable with being able to see the road, and be seen.  The IQ Fly is a great light, as is the Ixon IQ that is now on the X bike.

An honorable mention, and certainly the Best Value Award, goes to the Jumpstop device that I installed for the granny gear.  Despite all of the adjusting, I just could not consistently downshift under load without the fear of throwing the chain, and usually at the worst possible moment.   That would force stopping on a hill and fiddling to get the chain back on; and doing this after dark is not something I would look forward to.  The result was that I’d have to slow down and ease the chain on the granny, thus losing whatever momentum I had going into the rise of the hill.  The Jumpstop solved all of that, and now I can “throw down” without fear.  This is all fresh in my mind because I did it twice on last night’s ride.

Another mention goes to the X bike, which was a good exercise in spare parts, used parts, take off parts, and discount parts coming together to build a pretty decent bike.  I’m still fumbling with some changes in my head, but the truth is that this is a perfectly functional bike for me and the fam.

Outside of biking, I wanted to divest ourselves of  “stuff” and our culture of accumulation; and I think we are well on our way.  A lot of items either ended up in the trash, Goodwill, or to friends.  It’s a little more than the tip of the iceberg, but we’re on the right path.  A lot of credit goes to Red for hunkering down to clear out many uneeded items.

We’re also moving in the right direction as far as serving others.  There were a couple of times this year where we helped out others, primarily on an individual basis, but also with church projects.  The next step is to make it part of our lifestyle.  One step at a time…

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