As in: it was the best of times; it was the worst of
This couldn’t have been exemplified better than Monday, April
15th 2013. That day I was supposed to pick up my brand new
road bike. It had electronic shifting, and I’d gotten a $1,000
discount from the manufacturer. I was utterly stoked, but destined for
disappointment. Unfortunately, that was also the day of the Boston Marathon
bombing, so the shop closed early due to the ensuing chaos.
That up-and-down rollercoaster ride of emotion continued throughout
the year. Along with the new bike, I scheduled my first
professional bike fitting, which was pretty disappointing.
Similarly, this season I experimented with massage
treatments, which were nice but not providing enough benefit to
justify their cost.
The one unalloyed high point of the year was this
year’s Pan-Mass Challenge fundraising. I planned to raise
$16,000 over two years so that I could end my PMC involvement in 2014
having raised over $100,000 for cancer research. However, my supporters
flabbergasted me by contributing all $16,000 in one year, breaking my
previous one-year fundraising record by 40 percent and rocketing me past
my $100,000 goal. That will always be one of the proudest achievements
of my life and certainly the emotional high point of this year.
In keeping with the overall theme, however, two weeks later I found
myself in the emergency room after being nearly hit by a car who failed
to yield at a stop sign in South Boston. Over $2,500 in damage was done
to the brand new bike, none of which will be covered by insurance.
That put both me and the bike out of commission for a long time,
ending my season. Having completed six centuries in 2013, I had been on
pace to have more 100-mile rides than any previous season. However, due
to the crash, I haven’t ridden more than 65 miles at a time in the
past four months.
I had been enjoying the long rides I had done, which included a
blazing hot Tour
d’Essex County, the Outriders
ride, the Mt. Washington
Century, PMC day one, a solo ride via
Harvard, and an interesting new route: a solo century up
around Cape Ann and back. However, I missed out on two late-season
favorites: the Maine Lighthouse Ride and Boston’s Hub on
With my job ending in September, I had also been looking forward to
having a lot more time to ride in the autumn, but again that was
curtailed by the accident. Although I had been on pace to ride more
miles in 2013 than the past two years, I wound up with about 3,000
miles, which makes for a pretty average year.
I’ve now recovered, and done the repairs that were necessary to
get the bike back on the road. Of course, now it’s December, and
century rides just aren’t practical during winter’s short
days and 30-degree temperatures.
On the other hand, until I start a new job I’ll have the
opportunity to get out for short rides if the conditions permit. And
hopefully that will allow me to retain some of my fitness, so that I can
make 2014 a banner year.
After all, 2014 will still be my last Pan-Mass Challenge ride, and
I’m planning on doing the extra 100-mile day to make it a true
ride across Massachusetts, as I did back in
2010 for my 10th ride.