Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year in the Life of CR Biker

Amelia rides a toy horse with some help from grandma. Maybe a bike ride in 2012?

As 2011 draws to a close, time to look back and forward.

2011 was an eventful year for CR Biker. I experienced my first RAGBRAI, had someone try to run me off the road at night, broke several spokes and probably put more miles on my bike—due to RAGBRAI and training for RAGBRAI—than any other year in recent memory.

Audrey bought my current bike for me in fall of 2010. It’s not the perfect bike—I envied all the fast people on RAGBRAI with their swanky road bikes—but it’s a good compromise bike—better, I think, for everyday slow, old man riding to work use on bumpy Cedar Rapids streets than an actual road bike would be.

I wrote about RAGBRAI several times on this blog, and it’s definitely the highlight of my biking year. Will I do it again? I for sure will do at least a day this year, perhaps more, but we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll ride along with MMU, whatever the Mustang crew decides to do.

I am glad that my biggest mishaps this year were broken spokes—no spills on ice, no crashes with other bikes or cars, no scraped skin or broken bones. Knock on wood, I hope the trend continues.

It probably will. When my family moved to Iowa in 1966 when I was turning 8, my father had purchased a red Schwinn one-speed that he used to commute to Clinton Corn Processing Company. It became a present for my 8th birthday. I rode that bike until 1974, when I purchased a blue Schwinn 10-speed.

I didn’t part with that bike until fall of 2010 when my current black bike was purchased, although for more than a year the Schwinn was out of commission due to a broken brake brace weld and I was riding a Trek.

Anyway, in all my years of biking, I’ve rarely fallen off. One time I collided with my sister Toni during a ride in Muscatine in the 1970s. Once, in the 1990s, I took a minor spill attempting to go around pedestrians on the lake trail in Storm Lake, Iowa (I hit the edge of the cement going from grass to sidewalk).

Neither of those were serious spills. My one bad injury was the ice spill in Cedar Rapids along F Avenue in the naughts (what do you call the first decade of this century?), which was my fault since I should not have been riding on ice in the first place.

So, in 2012, I would have good reason to hope that, like in 2011, I won’t have any major spills. Knock on wood.

What else will happen, bike wise, in 2012?

Well, Amelia is too young now to be hitched into the bike trailer that her older brother Tristan loves. Sometime in the summer of 2012, on a day that’s not too hot, maybe she’ll have her first ride.

Cate and I have toyed with trying to do a ride to Waterloo, although a bridge that has been out since the 2008 floods is in the way. Maybe Waterloo will have to wait, but perhaps we can collaborate on another goal. And maybe I can persuade her, as a former MMU employee, to join our RAGBRAI one-day ride?

Otherwise, I just plan to continue to enjoy peddling. I’m sure some of those bike outings will be with Tristan, whose love of biking has shown no signs of waning.

Happy biking to all of you in 2012!

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