Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Rewind

The Minuteman Bikeway, barely snow-free in January.
2018 was a year of discovering new trails and spending time with family - sometimes both aligned to create magical moments.

It all started in January...
After a long hiatus off the bike, a winter thaw coincided with a company party in Boston, which opened up a wonderful opportunity to revisit the Minuteman Trail.

The winter bike.
February was bittersweet, losing my gracious, endearing mother-in-law, yet I witnessed how her children came together to honor her long life. I also began commuting to work again, discovering that linking dry neighborhood streets and back roads in lieu of snowy/icy bike paths opened up possibilities.

March and April dumped the most winter snow, yet I persevered through a rash of unexpected flat tires, completed the Errandonnee, spruced up a rusty Peugeot frame, and thought about what I'd hoped to accomplish in 2018.

Sinking my toes into Coney Island sand.

May, by far, satisfied my wanderlust, plus opened up new experiences by traveling with our eldest son on Amtrak to New York City. We spent 5 whole glorious days riding, exploring, eating, and realized we were great traveling companions!

My husband on the Nashua River Rail Trail.

In June I sold a beloved, but little used Miyata 610 touring bike, then looked ahead at how the Dahon could fit my current lifestyle. Attending a wedding also provided an opportunity to explore two new-to-us New Hampshire rail trails.

Ferries on Lake Champlain open up riding loops between Vermont and New York.

July, August, and September - July and August particularly - were the hottest months ever recorded in Burlington so I spent lots of time in the water, and joined an open water swim club - albeit too late to improve much - but it's a sport I aim to continue in 2019. However, I also spent time with my husband in Canada along with my annual pilgrimage with Adele exploring Canadian back roads. I also shared a beloved 3-ferry loop ride, twice, yet with two different friends completing the loop in opposite directions to keep the route fresh.

Revisiting the Lachine Canal.

October and November were filled with Coffeeneuring rides and I discovered the antidote to keeping the challenge fresh this year: using a thermos for impromptu rides and quiet, contemplative resting spots. It was also a refreshing change to coincidentally open the challenge along Montreal's Lachine Canal. My family and I also tried out our first e-bike: a Rad Mini.

A crisp, clear winter afternoon on the Colchester Causeway.

Winter weather came early this year, but switching to the winter bike means I continue to commute when I'm confident with road conditions. In addition, I'm learning to push my limits, with occasional pleasure rides that are surprisingly punctuated with sublime, spectacular views.

I failed to complete even one official bike overnight in 2018 (outside of simple but fulfilling forays at our nearby camp) and have given up on the challenge of riding all of Colchester's public roads. Spending meaningful time with my mom has filled the gaps on weekends, and I stayed close to home, rounding out any "free time" with our children and my husband. I immensely enjoyed and lived vicariously through Rootchopper's frequent blog posts as he crossed the country by bicycle. As I age, I'm increasingly thankful for the role that bicycles play in my life, whether for solace, commuting, or exploring - bikes take me where I need to go.

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