monday musings: cycling goals and stuff i want to do

I figure that today’s musings (actually on a Monday, no less) will be forward looking. I want to share some cycling goals for 2009, as well as some longer-term aspirations. A lot of the latter was brought on by Sarah and her impending adventures in Jordan (color me jealous).

The big cycling goals for 2009 are:

  • Beat my 2008 time at Mountains of Misery (pardon the rather unfortunate picture there – it seems that the organizers really like to feature pictures of this rider and her suffering expression). Last year’s total time was 6:36:26 – and I know I can do better than that.
  • Finish the Harpoon Brewery-to-Brewery Ride with energy left in the tank.
  • Enter a few races – preferably not crits, as I’m not a fan of demolition derby on a bike.
  • Beat my previous best at Mountain Mama (6:03:21) – quite doable.

Before I do any of that, I need to get my bike tuned up. While I know that Campagnolo Egropower shifters can be rebuilt – and I’m sure that I can do it – I’m a bit sheepish, and may end up having my LBS do the honors. I know that I need to replace my chain and derailleur hanger, both of which are jobs within my skillset. And I need to track down a new bottom bracket, in all likelihood (it’s probably best that I bite the bullet and go with the ceramic model, which is much more durable – the basic cartridge unit wears down quickly).

Now, on to the “stuff I want to do” part….

I love traveling.

I love flying and airports (which seems weird, but I’ve been a fan of both since I was a wee tot). I love the thrill of seeing new places and the wonder of things that are different. These things can be nearby or far away – though I prefer the latter.

So here’s a quick list of places I want to see and things I want to do in the not-too-distant future:

  • Ski the Haute Route.
  • Ride my bike in the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenées – possibly in l’Etape du Tour, La Marmotte or the Grand Fondo Marco Pantani, though I’d happily ride a self-designed tour through any of these areas.
  • Visit my mom’s homeland along the Black Sea.
  • Go skiing in South America or New Zealand.
  • Hike and/or ski in the Canadian Rockies
  • Visit some National Parks in the west (e.g. Zion, Yosemite, Crater Lake).
  • Visit Norway and Sweden.
  • Hike from hut to hut in the Alps in the summertime.
  • Get together a group of friends for a trip somewhere.

It’s a bit of an unruly list, I know. And if you know the way I travel, I’m not one who sits still for long. I’m not like Rick Steves, who lays out tour itineraries that spend very little time in any one place, but I’m not one who simply sits back for more than an hour or two while on holiday. This can be problematic to folks who travel with me (e.g. I kinda, sorta missed out on the café culture in France, as I wanted to be on the move – a mistake I won’t repeat when next I’m there!), and I need to remind myself to slow down and soak things in.

But I love to travel.

I love to be on the move.

I love adventure.

And I know that the next year or two will be fairly barren in terms of new sights and destinations. It’s a bit frustrating to me, as I really like seeing new things and doing something that isn’t the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. But there are quite a few factors that force me to play my hand a bit more conservatively, and I’m going to roll with those punches. 2009 will be a much lighter travel year, for sure; I hope that 2010 has a bit more in store, but it’s too early to tell.

I can keep dreaming, though, and that’s not a bad thing, at all.

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