Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blue Skies and Nice and Warm

I spent a short time early this morning chatting online with friends who were all woofing about their ultra cold weather and snow. (I sense that house guest season is upon us once again here in Florida.) I tried to break the news of our move as gently as possible. I reassured them that despite moving to a tiny home without a traditional guest room, we will always have a nice queen airbed tucked in the back of a closet for intrepid travelers.

Back in the real world, our to-do list was done by 9:30. We considered cleaning the bikes or something. Al quickly vetoed work in favor of heading out on a ride. (I knew I married the right man...)

We did a ramble for several of hours, wandering from lake to lake on our side of the county. Since there are a gazillion of them, we followed a very zigzag route. The sky was an unflinching blue, the mid-morning temperature was in the upper 60s, and the wind was almost calm. A perfect January day in Florida.

As a special treat for my previously mentioned frost-bitten friends, I have selected two old pictures that capture why I chose Florida for my home. As you sit in front of your fireplaces, sipping your cocoas and tugging your sweaters closer for warmth, remember that Florida is only a short plane trip away...

Water Sports!
Biking and No Snow!

Monday, January 21, 2013

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." – Dr. Seuss

We headed out for our morning ride, enjoying the mild morning weather and the lack of wind. We were doing a ramble, just stretching our legs for a couple of hours.

Every ride now includes goodbye conversations with friends. It can be a little awkward, since some friends seem to take our move from rural Lake Placid to Miami as rejection of their choices and values. Others warn us ominously about crime and traffic and a host of other mysterious urban dangers. Still others simply ask, "Aren't you sad to leave the country and the lake?" We keep the goodbyes brief and upbeat. We've moved many times before. The process of saying goodbyes isn't easy, but it's a familiar ritual.

We've been here 13 years, and we have a treasure trove of wonderful memories. I've spent the past week editing my digital photos from those years, selecting the ones that best tell the story of our years here and the things we most loved here. I ran them as a slide show today for the first time.

Made me smile big time.

Riding to Venus

The Quiet Roads

The Wildlife Refuges

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When the going gets tough, the tough take an espresso break.

Time for an espresso.

Since mid-December we have been busy with the endless tasks of moving to a new city. But finally the end is in sight. At last we have the time to ride our bikes again. In fact, we have very little else to do until the day of the move.

We are moving to Miami. To a very small home in a high rise on the Miami River in the Miami neighborhood known as Brickell. Two adults, one cat, 6 bicycles, and very few possessions. It is refreshing to lighten the load of possessions. They call it simplifying, but I find it more of a clarification of what one wants and loves. Our suitcases and boxes are all prepped and ready, stacked in an amazingly tiny area, waiting for moving day. There are some details being completed with the new Miami home. With luck we could move next week. Or it could be the following week. At this point, I'm happy to ride my bike to my heart's content and sip my espresso on the screen porch.

Our rides this week have given us the chance to establish our baselines for the year. I've made progress in the past year. My strengths in cycling are endurance and tenacity. My weaknesses are the total lack of fast-twitch muscles and wonky weak tendons due to a medical condition. However I've reached at an age where I'm quite comfortable with my limitations, and I've learned how to have a great time on a bike without being able to crank out the power I once had. The older I get the more I understand that one's attitude towards one's limitations  is the one factor that controls your happiness. Heck, I understood that I was just average athletically when I was in gym class in elementary school. But it doesn't take great physical talent to have a wicked good time on a bike.

So our training goals for the year are selected. We've already set up our training program. Our new regular training route on the road bikes will be out on the Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne. It's a beautiful place to train what with the boats on Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. That's not the best part. The car will get dusty in it's parking space in the building's garage. We'll be getting about on our bikes!

Life, as they say, is very, very good.

The Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne