Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 - Hello 2012

We took a short (16 mile) ride this morning.  Other things were waiting our attention, but a quick ride clears the cobwebs and sets up the day.

Before leaving on the ride, I set up my spreadsheet for 2012 biking.  And, a bit wistfully, tidied up and got ready to archive the 2011 biking spreadsheet.  Every year is a bit different.  This past year had no week-long touring, but it had many longer and faster local rides.  All our riding since September has been on our new road bikes.  Our mountain bikes and folding bikes have been lonely.
We rode almost 2000 miles in 2011.  1200 of those miles have been rides on our new road bikes which we got in mid September.  In other words, we are enjoying ourselves.  The new bikes are more comfortable than our old road bikes, which was a pleasant surprise for us.

An important footnote to the year:  Both Al and I have noticed that the feelings of well-being and contentment that typically follow rides have expanded into the day after a ride.  This is new, and a delightful development.  Exercise may not be a silver bullet for the downsides of aging, but it sure beats whatever is in second place (to mix and match old sayings.)

Since it is the last day of the year, I want to post our favorite views on local rides.  For Al, it is the view of our backyard from the spot where we check average speed for the day's ride.  We always stop on the street just across the canal from us.  (Personally, I believe he's thinking about eating lunch out on the screen porch.)
Al's Favorite View

My favorite view is a nearby ranch that has been put into trust as conservation land.  This was an old ranch, handed down for generations within the same family.  The rancher did not want future generations to subdivide or otherwise develop the ranch.  It is a beautiful place, and I find it very comforting to know that the owner of this fabulous place could love the beauty of his land more than the money the land would bring.  A naively hopeful thought for the beginning of the year.
Old Ranch Given a New Life as a Conservation Area