So looking forward, I want to lay out the map and point you to the route I hope to be taking in the coming year.
You're going to hear even more about Transition and Resilience in the coming year. You'll see more here, both in the context of cycling and otherwise, concerning my family's transition to less oil dependency and more self-sufficiency. Part of that will be in regards to growing our own food and finding local options, and part of that will be our everyday adventures that we will use to build our confidence, our fitness and our independence.
I had deemed 2012 the Year of Sun Powered Transportation. Yeah, I'd hoped you'd forgotten, but just in case...
I'm not going to contrive some dietary restrictions even more onerous than most religions would mandate. Instead, I am going to focus on keeping it on two wheels, buying local, buying smart and building resilience. We can still call it the year of Sun Powered Transportation, but let's forget those contrived rules and goals I set for myself. I'm not giving up on any ambitious schemes, I just think the schemes I came up with a couple of months ago were somewhat unrealistic.
I will continue my daily commuting by bicycle. As a family I think we'll do even more riding and leaving the car sit idle. Our poor Forester Gump has almost 280k miles. We need to let him rest as much as possible lest we be forced to put him down. So you will be seeing a few (hopefully a lot) posts beginning with "Car Free Weekend:"
My mind tosses ambitious ideas up against the inside of my skull, and I think I will start letting a few of those get tossed into the light to be attempted. I think when the weather improves we'll take a short, overnight family bike tour. I know we can do it.
Once the family is free from school for the warm season we'll be getting out even more often. I think we should plan at least one big family bike tour (3-4 days), and to pull it off we're going to need some smaller successes. We're going to need to work out a system that works for all four of us.
To gain the fitness levels I want in 2012 I must improve the quality of my diet while increasing my activity levels. I know, everyone tells me that I AM active. "At least you ride your bike everyday!" they cry. But I want to go beyond that. I want to achieve the fitness levels I have sought my entire adult life. I want to be strong, long-suffering and just plain fit. And I want to take my family with me.
There will be some long suffering.
Mandy had expressed the desire to do a duathlon or triathlon. Since I am such a wretchedly slow swimmer I agreed to do a duathlon, so we're planning on doing the West Side Duathlon in September. As it occurs shortly after Leadville I should be in pretty good shape by then.
Outside of the cycling context I'll be working on a Sustainability Management professional certificate from the University of Colorado, Boulder's Sustainable Practices Program over the course of the year. I'm excited to finally be moving ahead with more education and NOT be pursuing a masters degree. My first class is January 6. My efforts at gaining new knowledge may distract my efforts here for a bit. I'm okay with that because I want to focus on quality here, and not so much on daily quantity.
Leadville is my main cycling goal. I haven't been guaranteed a spot yet, but I am very hopeful. In training for Leadville I'm going to have to rack up some dirty miles. There will be mountain bike commutes galore! Two schemes I have planned later in the year...1) Mount Evans from home: a Century with over 9,000 feet of gain, but all paved roads. 2) Kingston Peak from home: eighty miles with significant dirt portions to the summit of a 12er.
So few words to describe such magnificent suffering...
I want to recreate the Guanella tour experience. I'm going to convince Mandy (may already have) to do a similar trip, but to Stevens Gulch where we can strike out and summit the two highest peaks along the Continental Divide: Grays Peak and Torreys Peak. Ambitious, but I've been so close to the effort with my ride this past summer.
These are things I want to do. These are my schemes and plans. But as far as what to expect on this blog...
Hopefully I will exercise more discipline in my writing. I've outlined goals for myself for the blog for the coming year in an effort to craft this space into a quality cyclo-blogging experience. I am going to try to be more journalistic in my approach. I've wanted to do some interviews for the past year or so and I think this year is the year to do those. I will try and cover some more events with better images to go along with the write-ups. Of course I will cover the USA Pro Cycling Challenge as best I can this year. I'll improve my efforts from last year for sure.
I'm going to try and step out of my comfort zone a bit. My initial plan is to include some short fiction, both in an effort to mix things up and to motivate myself to hack out some finished pieces for mass consumption.
I'm going to ask for more input from my readers, maybe try to do something better than my lone lame contest. I'm thinking that the words "open source" should also somehow work to define my efforts in the coming year.
If none of this scares you then I invite you to follow my journey as I search for Biketopia, as I strive to improve my writing skills and as I share my everyday adventures here on the Pavement's Edge in 2012.
The road ahead...