Goal

I think I’ve thought of a good, tangible goal I’d like to work towards over the next year or two. My current car will likely be due for an upgrade and I’d like to take into consideration this time that I’d like a car that can tow something. My Subaru has a CVT transmission which isn’t good at delivering torque, which makes towing difficult. Subaru claims you can tow up to 1000LBS but there’s very little information on setting up a tow hitch on my particular model. So I suspect Subaru is not so subtly telling you not to tow anything. I’d rather just avoid it. My next car will almost definitely¬†be a manual anyway. I’ve become comfortable with it, and I find that it’s preferable to my driving style than most automatics.

My goal is to finally travel to see places I want to, and I think I’d be more inclined to do that if I had a teardrop trailer. I could make trips super flexible and finally see the places where trains or planes don’t really go–the places I want to see. I looked into teardrop trailers once before and found they were surprisingly more expensive than I had thought. But over the last several years, I’ve really proved to myself that I can set a savings goal and meet it (mostly thanks to automatic bank transfers).

This is just a quick post so that I can have a record of myself setting this goal. Because it really makes sense to me, and it really seems attainable. Unlike so many of my other ideas I come up with. I need a better way to get away from my day to day, and being able to camp out in a nice cozy teardrop would really make me feel more comfortable with traveling.

Anyway, that’s my goal ūüôā

New Project Idea

I try not to hate too much in the world. It’s toxic. It’s often counterproductive. It doesn’t even make sense much of the time. But if there’s one thing I’m comfortable saying that I hate, it’s when people pat themselves on the back for something they think is great, but it really isn’t that great. In this instance, I’m talking about electric cars.

What exactly is the problem here? Are my choices really a $70K+ Tesla that can generally work like a regular car or a Nissan Leaf that has seriously limited range? I call bullshit. Regular hard working people want to get in on electric cars for the savings and to help the environment. Why isn’t there an electric car out there that’s affordable and doesn’t suck?

I see a situation like that and it screams “opportunity” to me. I know I could design and build a car that could meet those requirements if I had the backing. I’d make it the greatest company too. I’d locate it near where I live now where there isn’t hardly any manufacturing industry, but there is old unused infrastructure and labor available.

This is something I really want to do, but I have no idea where to start. At first I got a sketchbook and started designing a car. I took notes on any and all random ideas I had. I felt like it worked out well. I had lots of sketches and notes about what I felt were good design ideas and things people hadn’t considered before. But that’s where it ended. It’s a huge leap from designs in a notebook to a working prototype. Not to mention I have nothing even resembling the funds or resources to get something like that built. All I have is the knowledge, the vision, and the skills.

I dropped the idea for about a year since it seemed like such a dead end. Recently though, it occurred to me that maybe there was a kind of stepping stone that could work. What if I went out and found an old go-kart frame ripped out the gas engine and built it up as an electric buggy to proof-of-concept my ideas? Used go-karts aren’t always cheap, but a frame should be super cheap. I don’t even want the bearings and wheels, since I would replace them.

My vision for this electric buggy would be to actually use a number of bicycle components because they’re easy to get, relatively cheap and I’m very familiar with them. I’d use big, meaty mountain bike tires and have all four wheels equipped with disc brakes. With an electric motor, there’s no complicated torque converter or centrifugal clutch. It can pretty much direct drive the wheels. One of the ideas for my full sized electric car was to use four motors as opposed to one. This would make the car all-wheel drive on demand basically. I wonder if it would be cheap enough that I could do it on the electric buggy as well.

Anyway, I’m starting to think this might be my next big project. My PV power station is basically in maintenance mode right now. There isn’t much to improve about it, though I often think of how I might expand its capacity and power. An electric buggy, especially one with excellent ground clearance provided by mountain bike tires, would be a fun class-4 road or just off-road toy. Though it would certainly work fine on pavement as well.

It’s so frustrating to me that the hangup in all of this is my lack of funds and time. I work full time and I don’t have the extra funds to drive something like this. How do you get to that place? How do you make ideas reality? I want people to have a choice of an electric car that they can afford, and I’m tired of people praising Tesla like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. When only super rich people can afford it, it’s not.

A New Friend

I can’t really claim credit for this idea, but I’m excited to share my take on it here. One of the things that gets me down when I travel is there aren’t many pictures of myself. That’s not horrible. How many pictures of me do I really need? But I also travel alone, so taking pictures of myself means they pretty much have to be staged somehow. I have to set up a tripod, figure out the timer, all that stuff. Never mind that I don’t get to take pictures of anyone else.

I have a week off and I’m planning on doing a little bit of local traveling so all these thoughts have come to the forefront again. It’s easy to get down about it. Someone recently shared with me this website:¬†http://www.postcardsfromgoat.com. I thought it was a super cute idea. It’s kind of like that thing where people put a URL on dollar bills and people log in and track them. I liked it because it was a cute stuffed animal, and people were treating it as though it was going on these adventures with them.

So I thought about it and tried to think of what I might like to do that was similar. I wanted to get a cute stuffed animal that I could take with me on my travels and take pictures of. While I’ve always been very fond of my stuffed toys, and felt they should have meaning, I didn’t know where I could get one I wanted locally, so I found one online.

It’s a koala. I think I’m going to call him Kip. He’s very soft, and adorable to the max. I hope we have many fun adventures together. While he’s not a person, I think it’s a very good substitute.

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Me & Kip

Me & Kip

Ready to Roll

Sometimes I think I’m an idiot. I get all anxious about things and forget that I’m actually really smart, and can really problem solve if I want to. So I have my new (used) car and I think I’ve finally put it through all its shakedown cruises. I know it’s quirks. I’m confident in driving it. So I can take it on a little road trip, right? Oops, shouldn’t have thought of that. Here are some doubts, fears and things to be anxious about. Traveling alone. What if something goes wrong? Fears fears fears worries fears worries…

Or…or I could use the fleshy thing inside my skull to help mitigate those concerns. That’s what I decided to do today. I ended up spending a pretty substantial amount of money, but in the grander scheme of things, it had to be done. If it helps me do the things I want to do in life, then it’s worth every penny.

Actually, I had started this process when I first brought my car home. I decided that I drive a lot and with two cars now, AAA is probably well worth the money. I think it was like $80 for a year of roadside assistance and up to 200 miles of towing. Done. That’s a no brainer in my opinion. But then I stopped. As though AAA would solve all of my concerns. It helped with the big ones, but I was still worried.

Today I put together the beginnings of a kit for my car that basically just makes me feel better. There are still some things I want to add, but all the stuff I got represented a pretty substantial chunk of change, so I’ll add in other things as I can. Anyway, here’s the spread:

spread

I’ll do a rundown of everything I got, rough costs and why I got it. From top to bottom:

  • 1 quart Castrol GTX 10W-30 motor oil ($6.50):¬†Look, my car is 25 years old. It burns oil at some rate. Unless it’s hemorrhaging oil so badly that I need a tow, a quart of the good stuff gives me peace of mind.
  • 8-Gauge Booster Cables ($24): To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised I didn’t already have a set of these. I got the nice 8-Gauge ones even though they were about $10 more because why not?
  • Hydrogen Peroxide ($1.50): Tried and true.
  • Bactine ($8.30): The stuff you didn’t want mom to spray on your scrapes as a kid. Between this and the hydrogen peroxide, I feel confident that any minor scrapes or injuries will be no problem.
  • Shop Gloves ($17): Have you ever tried to work on a car with bare hands? It’s a pain in the ass. Worse if you’re near part of the engine that’s warm or hot. Save the bactine and hydrogen peroxide for injuries that can’t be avoided.
  • 50FT Nylon Braided Rope ($7): Rope is one of those things that’s really versatile for its cost. Just a silly thing NOT to have.
  • Mini-can of WD-40 ($3): I’d rank WD-40 right underneath duct tape in the list of handy tools to have. On an older car that has a lot of seized or rusted bolts/parts, WD-40 is going to be the difference between cursing for 2 hours and sitting and waiting for 2 hours.
  • First-Aid Kit ($14): Normally I don’t like pre-packaged first-aid kits because you don’t know what’s in them, or what the quality is, but this was pretty cheap, had some things I didn’t want to buy separately and just seemed like a nice addition to my kit. It includes:
    • (2) Butterfly bandages
    • (1) Medical tape 1/2″ x 10 yards
    • (3) Knuckle Bandages
    • (5) 1 x 3″ Bandages
    • (1) Conforming Gauze
    • (2) Sterile gauze dressing
    • (3) Antiseptic towelettes
    • (2) Triple antibiotic ointment
    • (2) 200mg ibuprofen tablets
    • (2) 25mg diphenhydramine tablets
    • (2) Anti-Bite sting/itch relief
    • (11) Moleskin blister patches
    • (2) Alcohol swabs
    • (1) Splinter picker / tick removal forceps
    • (3) Safety pins
  • Stoke Firestarting Kit ($11): I’ve always kept a box of matches in the car. I was actually going to buy a tube of the weatherproof matches for my kit here, but saw this and thought it was a better option. It’s a waterproof steel tube with a flint striker, several pieces of flint and tinder. Why do I prefer this? Because even if all of it got soaked the flint striker will still create a good spark. I tried it out with a cotton ball just to see how easy it was. Answer? Extremely easy.
  • Emergency Poncho ($2): Silly thing to not have. Small, cheap, easy and the difference between being wet and unhappy and dry and much better.
  • USB Car Charger ($13): These things are so cheap nowadays. With cellphones that have batteries that don’t last very long, it helps that while you’re car is running, you know your phone is topped off. I actually use this exact same one with my PV power station. It works great and has 1.5 amp and 2.1 amp ports for phones and tablets respectively.
  • Heavy Duty Weatherproof Duct Tape ($10): Don’t cheap out on this. Don’t get the imitation ones. Get the brand name 3M stuff.
  • Roll of Gauze 2″ x 2.5 yards ($3): Cheap thing to have that has many uses. This stuff works great on larger scrapes where a band-aid won’t do.
  • Antibiotic Band-Aids ($4): Self explanatory.
  • LED Flashlight ($24): Very bright. Weatherproof. Drop/shock proof. Two brightness settings. 1 AA alkaline battery. LED bulbs don’t burn out. They’re much brighter. Make sure you get a flashlight that takes alkaline batteries (the fewer the better). Why? Because you can store alkalines for a long time. They’re cheaper and easier to find than lithium which some fancy flashlights take. A Maglight is probably also a good choice here, but I don’t know if they have LED versions. I love my mini-mag, but the xenon bulbs it uses burn out too often.

So is this kit complete? Not quite. I’m very satisfied with what I have here, and would feel safe going out with it. Some things that I’d probably also just throw in the trunk would be my ratchet set and a towel. For the kit, I’d also like to have a nice leatherman multi-tool. I didn’t see any that I liked at the camping store today, so I’ll probably look online. I’m also going to look into some kind of non-perishable food to keep in the kit. I’ve heard almonds are good for that. If I wanted to be super prepared, I guess I could get some MRE-style pre-packaged storable meals. I’m also going to get another pack of bungee cords. I have some in my primary car that I got before a camping trip some years ago. They are way more useful than I initially thought! I’m not sure but I might also get a second crow bar as well. I bought one for my Subaru last winter because I had to have some way of knocking the ice off from the wheel wells. Best. Purchase. Ever.

I’d also really like to have some kind of water purification system available to me. They had so many options at the camping store, but that’s out of my realm of expertise. My brother is a pretty serious wilderness/backwoods person, and I know he’s done water purification things before, so I’m going to ask him about it.

Longer term things to think about? I really would like to get a gun. It’s something I’ve thought about for a really long time. I don’t want anything insane, basically one step above a BB gun would be preferable. I’m very partial to the Walther PPK .22LR. One thing people don’t realize is that guns are loud. Sometimes just shooting one can be enough to scare away a bear or moose or whatever. Obviously there’s a lot more involved in getting a gun, and I’d need to learn to shoot it, but I’m pretty sure it’s something I want to do.

Future Version of Me

I don’t know if there’s any truth to it or not, but I think antidepressant medication causes strange dreams. I used to have recurring dreams where my car got stolen or just moved somewhere other than where I left it. Another recurring dream I sometimes still have basically revolves around the world ending in some way. It was always different, but always disturbing and upsetting.

I try not to put too much weight in dreams. To me, if they’re good, fine. If they’re not good then all they’re doing is ruining a good night’s sleep for me. That said, occasionally “interesting” dreams come along that I feel are worth remembering. Before I forget it, I want to write about one of those here.

There was a lot of stuff going on that was relatively unimportant and random. I think I was helping people move a bunch of stuff and load it onto a trailer. There were a number of people about, most of whom I didn’t know. A few seemed to have names of people I know in real life, but weren’t actually those people. I think it was when we were done loading the trailer with stuff I was walking back to some house with a few other people. There was one girl in the group who I was talking to. She seemed really familiar, but was not anyone I know in real life.

Anyway, we were talking and getting along quite well. She was very nice. Ok, I can’t believe I’m going to write this so candidly here, but it’s critical to the story, so I can’t leave it out or allude to what I’m talking about. We somehow began talking about transgender people and transitioning. I mentioned that I was starting to work on just that. She stopped, and said that it was a big deal, and that I should know that it was what I really wanted. I replied that it was, and that it was very important to me. Seemingly satisfied, we continued walking to the house and continued chatting. I remember she was so nice. She seemed so familiar.

When we arrived at the house I realized that I hadn’t gotten her name. I asked her and she replied that her name was “Scotty” which is about as feminine a version of my given name as you can get. Then she walked into the house. I remember feeling stunned, like I had just witnessed the twist at the end of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Then I woke up.

Was that girl me? Was that why she seemed so familiar? The dream left me feeling so good. Like some potential future version of myself met up with me in a dream as if to tell me that “yes, I am you. Things are going to be ok.”

Pictures

I really don’t have many pictures of myself, and virtually none that I like. It’s been this way for years. I also never really got into the whole selfie culture. That’s what tripods and timers are for. My mom always came down on me saying how much she liked pictures of me and that I was just being silly for dismissing them. I’m sure she wishes there were more pictures of me.

I don’t like mirrors either. I just never really liked¬†myself I guess. That’s part of something that I’m really trying to change. I want to be me and be happy about that. I didn’t even know that was a thing actually. Being yourself and being happy about it? Wow…what a novel idea! It’s definitely a foreign concept, or at the very least, not something that comes to me naturally. That was the past though. I understand that how I’ve been isn’t what most people experience. That would be fine if it wasn’t also causing me so much distress.

I had an idea over the weekend though. Maybe I could hire someone (a professional photographer maybe?) to take some pictures of me with my car. My prediction of the outcome would be that although the pictures themselves would probably be very good, I’d still hate the person I saw in them. So I’m wondering what comes first here. Should I take the pictures now and hope that because they’re of me with something I love and am proud of that I’ll grow to be ok with myself in them? Or should I wait until I’m truly happy with who I am and how I look?

Deep down I have a sense that nothing would make me happier than having pictures of the real me with my car. Hadley the real me. Smiling a genuine smile. Genuinely proud of who she is, what she’s done and where she’s going. Oh I can almost feel it.

Not an MR2

Here’s the surprise! It’s not a mister 2, but it is small, fast, classic and unique! It’s a 1991 Mercury Capri XR2.

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It’s a 5 speed manual with up to 10 psi of factory turbo boost. In a car that weighs barely 2300lbs, it’s more than enough. You definitely feel it. The XR2 came with popup headlights (standard on all models) plus fog lights. One of which you’ll notice is missing. The bulb is blown so I pulled it to put a new one in. Just look at all this classic early 1990s technology!

 

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Headlights absolutely work. I’m leaving them locked in the upright position until I start to drive it more often then it’s likely they’ll simply remain down. It’s a summer car, and I’m not out in the dark that often during summer.

Leather seats inside are in pretty good shape, but I’ll likely be putting seat covers on them to keep the leather from baking in the sun when the top is down.

Love the spoiler on the XR2 model!

IMG_0273 IMG_0272 IMG_0271 IMG_0270I have a feeling that the spoiler on this one is not original, or at least was taken off and put back on at some point in the car’s life. It’s missing the “XR2” emblem, and the bolts underneath look like they were repositioned. A lot of people seem to like to take their 1991-1993 XR2s and modify them to make them look like 1994s. I’m not sure why. They say the tail lights on the 94s look better, but I disagree. People also seem to prefer the 1994 spoiler as well, but again, I disagree. I should easily be able to find a replacement “XR2” emblem on eBay or something. I’m also thinking about finding some kind of quirky Australian-themed magnets or emblems to signify the Capri’s heritage there.

It’s hard to believe that my plan from months ago is actually coming together. I still have a lot of work to do on the car. It’s in unbelievable shape (from California) but it needs an oil change, state inspection sticker, new fog light, driver’s side window fix and some TLC on the body to really help it shine. As you can see from the reflections in the photos, the body and clear coat are in unbelievable shape! I think a nice coat of Meguiar’s premium wax will be more than enough, and maybe a clay bar on the very worst spots.

Then of course there are all the other phases of my plans. It’s so weird feeling like I’m on a path that’s right for me. Still thinking I’ll drive it to Provincetown this summer. Something different, you know? I have a very important appointment coming up on May 14th that I almost can’t believe I set up. I was nervous at first, but now I’m very excited! Everything is swirling in a vortex that’s culminating on the single point of me getting better. Me getting on with my life. Me smiling and being excited about being me rather than disconnecting further and further.

This car is the perfect symbol for me right now. It’s cute. (OMG so cute!) It’s primary market in its short production run was single women in their mid to late 20s. (I definitely giggled when I read that.) They hoped to sell to a male audience as well with the XR2s, but ultimately, that audience was lost to competition like the recently released rear wheel drive Mazda Miata. It’s my gateway to the world. Just enough storage space for important things, but no more. I almost can’t believe how far I’ve come in such a short time towards the future I described in my recent post, “Hadley“. It’s surreal.

Learned Today

So I learned today that the Porsche 914, while not a particularly pretty car, actually came with either a flat-4 or a flat-6 in a rear mid-engine configuration. I knew that the 914 was a mid-engine car, but I did not realize the engine in it was a flat-4…or a flat-6. I certainly wonder if it purrs as nicely as the rare Subaru boxer flat 6 engines of modernity (1996 SVX Alcyone? *swoons*). This officially puts the 914 in my “list” of potentials. A bonus of the 914 is that it’s a targa top. This is¬†kind of¬†ugly, but I suspect if gives much of the feeling of being in a convertible while still retaining the performance of a sports car. From what I understand (and have¬†experienced) convertibles, while fun, typically handle like crap because they’re so heavy from all the body reinforcement.

The only problem I have with the 914 is that it’s a big aged for my tastes. Especially compared the to the MR2. Porsche or not, that’s more than a decade’s worth of technology improvement. Hmmm…

Well, either way, I decided that it would be better if I had a list of potential vehicles that fit the bill rather than putting all my eggs in the MR2 basket. I’m¬†really pushing the mid-engine direction, but outside of that, some of the potentials include early 90s Alfa Romeo Spider, Fiat X1/9, 1996 Subaru SVX and the third-gen Toyota Celica. I’m going to start keeping a list with information as I discover it as a static page.

Plan

It’s no secret (well, it should be no secret) that I’m struggling. Struggling to get myself moving on a life path that’s suited to me. Struggling to understand who and what I am. Struggling to just figure out a reason to continue living past 30 on some days. This isn’t really a new concept for me. I’ve known that I’ve been struggling for a while. What’s new is that I feel like I may have the opportunity to actually do something about it. Unfortunately, it may require some bold actions. I thought of a plan today to get the ball rolling towards this end.

The best plans are simple. That’s good, because this one is pretty darn simple. It’s got two basic parts. Phase one is to stop talking about it, stop thinking about it and just go out and find myself a 1986 Toyota MR2. Red would be nice, even if it does anger police. Why this car? I’m not entirely sure. It speaks to me. It’s impractical. It’s mid-engine. It’s a Toyota. Other favorites I had in mind were convertibles, because they’re just so darn fun, like an early 1990s Alfa Romeo Spider. Beautiful car. Unique car. But it just doesn’t speak to me in the same way the Toyota does. I can get a convertible any time. The mid-engine sports car isn’t something you see every day.

It was always¬†some car. Really, the car itself doesn’t even matter. It’s a symbol. A symbol of me breaking free from the life I found myself stuck in. I didn’t ask to be in this position, it just sort of happened. That’s no way to live your life. It’s symbolic of me saying that I don’t¬†need to do what’s “prescribed” to me. I don’t¬†need to live the life my parents did, or my siblings do, or my friends do. That’s convenient because I wasn’t doing a very good job of living it anyway. It’s symbolic of me saying that I’m not going to continue sitting on my hands waiting for tomorrow. Tomorrow that¬†never seems to come. I’ve stagnated horribly. I’ve done everything I was supposed to do, everything I should’ve done, everything I¬†could’ve done. I’ve worked harder in the past 8 years than anyone should ever have to, and what do I have to show for it? An apartment. A car. A job I hate. No friends. No relationships. No hope of any of that changing. Should I just keep dying that slow death? No, I’m sorry, but I’ve held up more than my fair share of the societal bargain, and I haven’t seen anywhere near enough reciprocation to really continue bothering anymore.

Phase two is somewhat more difficult, but likely far more important. Once I have the car, I’ll get it all fixed up if necessary to make it 100% roadworthy. I’ll detail it myself. Make it as close to showroom new as possible. If there’s one thing I’ve always taken pride in, it’s keeping my cars super clean. Harder to do with a daily driver, but still, there’s nothing quite like the look and feel of a freshly Armour-All-ed dashboard and steering wheel. I haven’t mentioned much about it here, because it’s still a pretty scary notion to me, but I am going through a pretty deep phase of self discovery. One I arguably should’ve had the opportunity to go through far sooner in life, but at least it’s happening at all.

With my newly acquired MR2 in hand, my plan is to take as much time off work as I possibly can. Hopefully sometime this summer (obviously pending getting my hands on an MR2 first thing in the spring). I then throw a minimal number of things into the car and drive to Provincetown, MA. I don’t know what I expect to find there. Hopefully myself. Hopefully some acceptance. Hopefully some understanding. Hopefully some hope that a future worth living is possible for me perhaps in a manner that I didn’t even know was possible.

This plan is about as far “out of character” for me as I can get. I’ve done my best to save money feverishly over the past few years with the expectation of…well, I’m not sure. All that saving hasn’t even led to that much money anyway. Buying a house? Why? So I can continue to live a life in debt to others? So I can continue to have no friends and no relationships? So I can do what’s “fiscally responsible” to prepare for my retirement? Fuck. That. I genuinely never expect to retire anyway. Like I said, even in high school I told people I didn’t expect to live past 30. No, I’m afraid I’ve put off living my life for far longer than I should have. I see other people living. My friends, my siblings, extended family. I’m not living. I’m in a perpetual state of dying. I can accept that my life might not contain things that so many others do. A house. A partner. A family. Respectable job. What I can’t accept is continuing to half-assedly attempt to acquire those things.

I don’t think I could ever lead¬†that successful life. I think I might have a sliver of a chance at leading¬†my successful life, but at this point in time, bold action is required. I want to be ready to take that action.

The Most Important Thing

I am not a big fan of the idea of a bucket list. It’s definitely a good idea to have goals, and things you’re working towards, but putting it into a big list like that has the potential to cause problems. There’s a concept in the hiking and climbing world of “peak bagging”. The idea being that you just climb mountains in some group or category and check them off a list. As I recall, the community’s feelings on this are mixed. Some think it’s a fine thing to do as a challenge. Others see it as cheapening an experience of climbing and exploring nature.

I myself engaged in something similar to “peak bagging” a few summers ago with my cycling. Early in the season, I declared I was going to ride 2000 miles. The number was mostly arbitrary, but based a bit on what I had done previously, and what I felt I could do if I focused on it. In the end, I did achieve that goal. Unfortunately, after reflecting on that summer and the rides I did, I was far from satisfied. To ride that much, with the schedule I had, meant that every possible free night, weekend and good weather time slot needed to be devoted to a ride. I passed up doing other things on weekends saying, “oh, no can do, gotta ride this weekend.” The rides I was doing weren’t even that fun either. I had one ride that was a relatively straightforward perfect metric century. It was far from the most exciting ride, but I just kept doing it. Over and over. Sixty more miles on the tally each time.

The following summer, I really regretted doing that. I was proud to have ridden so much, but the cost felt too high. I wasn’t riding for the love of the sport, and the enjoyment of going places by bike, but for the miles. Instead of trying to find the highest mile rides, I started doing rides that were just fun and interesting, regardless of how many miles they were. At the end of the summer, I hadn’t ridden 2000 miles, but I did have some good memories of fun rides. I was also able to diversify the stuff I did because I didn’t feel like I¬†had to ride all the time. It was much more relaxing.

A part of me now wants to think that of course it’s ok to do those fun rides now, I’ve already proven that I¬†can¬†put up big mileage numbers. Saying that isn’t really fair to me though. I know I’m a good rider. I didn’t need to put up 2000 miles to prove it. No one does. If you love the sport, then you’ll be good. It’s as simple as that. You’ll be good enough for you. Also, you never know when you might start having health problems that really limit how much you can do. This past year, I was going through (still kind of am) some things that made good sleep hard to come by. Basically, I wouldn’t know whether or not on any given Saturday I’d get enough sleep to do a real ride, so it was hard to plan things in advance. If I planned something, then didn’t get enough sleep, what was I supposed to do? Those difficulties, combined with the unpredictability of the weather meant I didn’t get nearly as many miles this summer. I didn’t even get to ride in the century ride. It was good to know that the miles aren’t the most important thing. If you’re enjoying the rides, and enjoying the sport, that’s the most important thing.