Best and Worst of 2013 – Yipper!

January 1, in Wisconsin, it’s snowing.  Who’da thunk it?  Snowing means I am not riding a bicycle or a motorcycle right now. I know that probably surprises you as well.  Someday I am going to live somewhere that I can go out for a ride on January 1.  (All you people on facebook, stop taunting me.)  Most people would say that I probably have to live somewhere other than Wisconsin to make that happen – I am not convinced yet.

(I just had to go outside and move cars and shovel, as we were starting to get to the point of no return on the driveway.)

Regardless of all of that, I am here to tell you that 2013 was a barnstormer of a year.  It came, it went, it partied, now good riddance. Who wants to live in a year where 13 is the number?  Doesn’t that feel that it will just have to be unlucky?  It feels good to have it in the rear view mirror.  But, before we leave it behind, it is always good to look back (If for no other reason, than to know what I jacked up last year and try not to do it again…).  It is also good to get an espresso while you are doing that.  I really do hope there is pudding.

I had some goals, and I gotta admit that I did not do very well at hitting them. If you do not remember, here they are again.  I hit about 50%, but that is not a great score in life – unless of course you are a weatherman.  Geez, what is up with that?  They do not seem to have to do much better than 25%, and they are stars on TV.  I know I have ranted about that in the past, but I do really think that is the case. When I come back as a full time Cyclcocross racer or GNCC pro, after I retire I am going to be a Weatherman.

Best of 2013

I have decided again that I am going to change the rules to this game.  I do own the game, so why can’t I change them?  Who makes that decision anyway?  So, instead of just one thing being the best, I am allowing that multiple things can be the best.  I know that breaks all the rules of logic, but there it is.

January – The first serious team conversations between Luca and I happened in January.  Sure, we had talked about the team for a good 2 years before, but this is when it became reality.  I am not going to rehash all of that, but you can refresh your memory on how it all came about here.  We have definitely counted down those 41 days now, and a lot of great stuff has happened.  But, it all comes back to January.

February – St. Joe ride camp.  I really had a good time kicking off my motorcycle season with a training camp.  The race teams all do it, why can’t I?  This was kinda my first effort at it.  It really works.  I am going to do a bigger one this year.  I would encourage you to do a training camp for whatever your sport is.  They are really great fun.  Check a couple of notes on mine from last year, here and here.

March – Georgia GNCC.  I surprised myself, and even after it being winter where I live, and the guys down south having racing under their belt already, I did ok.  It was a good indicator of how my season was going to shape up.

March/April – Fabian’s romp through the spring classics.   Unless you were away on another planet, you certainly know about Fabian’s romp through the spring.  It was finally the spring that wasn’t just maybe but it was.  It started way back in Strada Bianchi when he was so on top and went all the way through to Roubaix.  I was lucky enough to be at Roubaix, and I am so glad that I did not miss that.  Wait, if you were off planet, I might want your job.

April – Brown County Indiana MTB trip.

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A Trail, a bike and a Dog. Give it a read here.

After some time in Wisco winter, you just cannot wait to get out and ride.

June – Ft. William World Cup race trip/seeing my Dad in London.  Liz and I were going to our first WC DH race and we got a chance to meet my father while he was in London.  We detoured there on our way, had dinner together and spent a fun day just knocking around maybe my favorite city in the world together.

Then we went on to Ft. William and chased Nessie around.  It was super fun, check it here, I cannot wait to get to another one this year.

July – MTB riding in Hayward.

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They never look that tough in a photo, but Liz giving it over a bit of a rock garden. Great fun.

I posted up about 3 different stories about this trip, so it must have been really good.  It was.

Sept – MTB riding in Switzerland/Italy with Lloyd

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This was an amazing trip. It had a negative to it, with Liz’s knee problem, but overall it was just incredible. I am such a super huge fan of riding big mountains now, I cannot believe it. I actually am looking forward to doing a big trip next year with Lloyd, and a couple of Enduro’s. Check the story here.

Oct – Getting hooked on CX.  I have to admit it, I am a CX knob now.  I thought it was a stupid sport just a couple of years ago.  I mean, who would ride such the wrong bicycle on that terrain?  I still think it is not the right bicycle for what we all love to follow, but that is exactly what makes it cool.  It is the “IPA in a can” of cycling.  It is just the best and the most honest and hardworking of all of cycling.

Also in Oct, was the Pearl Jam concert in Charlottesville.  This will probably be right up there on the top, in the end.  It was Liz’s first time at a PJ concert and she came away a fan.  Didn’t hurt that we did a killer MTB ride in Virginia as well.  Check the story here to refresh.  Lightning Bolt actually does rock.

Nov – New Trek Factory Racing World Tour Team coming together the first time in Belgium.

December – Going to Singapore for the 1st time in my life.  Singapore was cool, but what about the dancing?

Worst of 2013

Hanna surgery.  If you are a parent, you know how it feels when one of your kids gets sick.  I can tell you that it does not change when they become adults.  Hanna is fine, but for a while we were all pretty worried.

Not doing enough races in WIXC or D16 to win the overall series.  I won a lot of races this past year, and I had way more good races than bad.  But, I did not do enough races in either series to win the overall.  Too bad, right?  I do not expect much sympathy there.

Liz busting up her knee on the way to France, so she could not ride.  I am not sure that she was going to ride much anyway, but we were heading to one of our favorite places in the world to be with some of our very best friends.  Chatel is a beautiful place, but not much fun to be there with a bum knee.  Louise helped nurse her back and now she is fine.  Next year will be better for her there.

That is it really for bad.  None of that really is bad either.  I mean so what, Liz is fine, Hanna is fine.  That is my point really, I live a really charmed life.  I am super grateful for that.  I hope to be safe and healthy in 2014.  I hope that all of you are as well.

2014 is going to be great fun.  It all starts here.

Joe

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