2006…you were a good year.
In every aspect of my life, 2006 treated me well. On the bike, or off, it was a year of growth and success. There were good times, and not so good times, and everything in between, but on the whole, a steady cadence was spun up a long rewarding climb. And now, as it comes time to look back, I do so with an excitement about what 2007 holds in store.
If one thing stands out above everything else, it is the people I got to meet, ride, and race with. Many people who were simply internet personalities became living breathing acquaintances, who, after not a very long time became genuine friends.
I think in nearly every event I raced in somebody would mention this blog, or cheer for me by name as I rode through an aid station or checkpoint. That meant a lot to me. It does wonders to hear friendly voices out on the course. As much as I love racing just for the sake of competition, it is the people that make these events so memorable.
I can’t talk about 2006 and not mention a friend I only knew for a few minutes. On March 25th 8 of us set out on what promised to be a great day in the saddle. Instead it turned into a nightmare. Bill Corliss died that day. Not a day has passed that I don’t think about that accident. I will admit…I don’t ride my road bike as often these days. I like to blame it on a new love for the local trails, but I know that is only part of the reason.
However, each ride and each race took on extra meaning for me. I raced in honor of a friend I never got a chance to know, I raced knowing that life can go, as quickly as it comes. I savored each sunny day, each single track switchback, each day with my wife and kids…a little bit more.
As 2006 prepares to become a part of history, I am excited about the potential that 2007 has. New races, rides and people all await to be discovered.
So, here’s to a happy new year, and one filled with long rides, tailwinds, and good people. Keep the wheels down, and your head up!