Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, we’re only a few hours away from the ball drop and a whole new calendar year beginning here in America. I always forget that the New Year has already arrived in other places in the world.

It appears that 2010 is going to go out pretty much the way it came in. I’ll be pursuing cross training efforts similar to last year’s…

January 1st, 2010 saw us covered with white stuff (no, not coke!) left over and added to from the walloping snow storm we enjoyed on December 18th. This year, the snow graciously held off until Christmas Day. Last year (2009), the Navigator and I were hiking up the snow covered mountainside amidst the goats and one lone sheep to get to my sister’s cabin for Christmas lunch. This year we stayed home and enjoyed a quiet meal as we watched the snow fall outside and once again covered the area in a peaceful blanket of softened sounds.

I tried to get a good start on the coming year’s cross training as I’m still not out and about on 2 wheels. In the following image, you can see me doing the first of a series of one crunch while holding the 4 bags of chocolate candy given to me by the Navigator.

Candy powered stomach crunches

(Yep, I felt the burn…)

I am just about recovered from my single stomach crunch and may do another one or two tomorrow just to be sure the New Year gets off to a rollicking start. Being aware that one must be attuned to a well balanced physical presence, I consulted with Coach Herbert to best determine a well rounded cross training plan in this off-season. Fortunately, I was able to visit with the Coach as he appeared to be wrapping and unwrapping himself in Christmas paper.

Coach Herbert poses during our consultation

(Coach Herbert takes a break from his impersonation as a Christmas present)

With the Coach’s help, I determined that there was a need for some tricep extensions, lower back flexibility exercises, and lateral oblique extensions so mid-afternoon on the 26th I headed out of the house with the necessary tools for the workout.

Zeke works out the upper bod(Photo by the Navigator as she “supervised” my workout)

I pretty quickly settled into a nice rhythm of bend, scoop, lift, throw, repeat… I quickly covered the distance of 2/10ths of a mile to the road that connects to the road that leads to town. Yep, I was feeling pretty good. I’m not sure what my heart rate was but I’m pretty clear I worked up to my lactate threshold.

The warm spell finally arrived and we’ve had two days in a row with the temps reaching into the upper 40’s and low 50’s. Much of the snow is gone now and we’re left with the ugly muck that inevitably follows a pretty snowfall. Tomorrow, New Year’s Day, is forecast to include rain. Hopefully, I’ll be able to hang on to that resolution and get out and ride some distance tomorrow - salt, road grime, and rain be damned.

As I look back on 2010, it has been a fine year for me personally on the cycling front. I’ve increased my mileage once again although I came up short of my planned goal, I climbed over 521 miles throughout the year, topped two of the hardest climbs in the county, achieved my goal of climbing to the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Bethel Community, road my longest ride ever (twice), and managed to maintain my weight loss with resulting good blood test results again. I had a polyp removed from my colon before it could grow into something life threatening. I was part of an energetic local advocacy group that has now garnered a $51,000.00+ grant for a bike plan for our community. All in all, a darn fine year!

The future looks bright. We start 2011 strong with a meeting this Tuesday night with the County Recreation Advisory Committee before attendance at our County Commissioner’s meeting later in the month. We’ll be moving forward on several fronts as we continue our advocacy and education outreach in the county hopefully encouraging more cyclists and more cycling infrastructure.

Oh yeah, it all starts tomorrow with the first crank of the pedal…

Happy New Year to All!

-Zeke and the Navigator

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