Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year - Welcome to 2008

Finished off 2007 with a great ride and I even completed one of my must does for the year which was riding Navesink River Road from the bottom up. I am not really much for making New Years resolutions or reflecting back at the year just completed but this post is going to do both.

There were a lot of highlights to the year 2007 for me.

  1. Spent January and February 2007 working and living in San Francisco. I was working on a project at Wells Fargo Bank and it was not really practical to commute back and forth on the weekends. Even though I was living in the Cartwright Hotel it still felt like I was a resident of the city. I have been to San Francisco multiple times but this was the first time I really got to explore the city as more than a businessman in town on work for a few days. I can see why people fall in love with this city. In many ways it is a smaller version of NYC.
  2. Skied in Lake Tahoe on 4 of the weekends that I was in California. Once I knew that I was going to be in San Francisco long term I made plans to go skiing. I have never skied outside of Central New York (although I have been cross country skiing in Vermont) so I was really excited to experience skiing on the West Coast. Especially since the snow in the east was not so great in the early part of the year. I skied every time at Heavenly which is owned by Vail Resorts. Heavenly is a large, well run but expensive ski resort. My only regret is that I did not branch out and try one of the other ski resorts such as Kirkwood. In fact my first weekend in Tahoe would have been a great opportunity to do this since Heavenly did not open completely on Sunday because of high winds. I ended up getting a refund and heading back to San Francisco early.
  3. Rented a carbon Fuji Road bike and rode across the Golden Gate bridge and up into Marin county. I ran into one of my high school classmates in the breakfast room of the Cartwright Hotel. She was in San Francisco on business but she brought her husband and they were making a vacation out of it as well. She mentioned that they had gone for a run across the Golden Gate bridge and it was one of the highlights of the trip. Since I cannot run anymore I decided I would rent a bike and ride over the bridge. Blazing Saddles rents road bikes so I decided to get one for the weekend that I did not go skiing. I rode 50 miles each day. After the first trip over the bridge it actually becomes more of an obstacle. This is the weekend that I really came to appreciate the San Francisco/Northern California lifestyle.
  4. Attended almost every home game of the Rutgers University Lacrosse Team. One of my high school classmates is the head coach of Rutgers Lacrosse team. I had attended a couple of games in 2006 but I think I attended every game but maybe one in 2007. It was fun watching the team improve as the season progressed. I am looking forward to this season. My second blog post was about Rutgers Lacrosse.
  5. Purchased my Specialized Langster. After renting the road bike in California I realized how much I liked bike riding. When I was living in Charlotte I was using my Trek Mountain Bike as a road bike but I had not really used it that much since I had moved back to New Jersey. I started looking at full road bikes but for some reason the single gear/fixie bikes started to catch my eye. At one point I started to think about buying two bikes. However, I figured that only one of the bikes would have been rode a lot so I decided to go with a single gear bike. Originally I was going to get a Bianchi Fremont but I noticed the Langster on the wall at the Peddler. The frame was too big for me but I tried it out anyways. I realised that I liked the bike. As I was getting ready to leave I was told that there was a 52 that needed to be put together. I really thought I needed a 54 but it turned out that the 52 was the right bike for me. The folks at the bike shop originally were skeptical that this was the bike for me but I bought it anyways. Probably one of the best moves I made. I ended up riding over 3000 miles since I brought the Langster home in June.
  6. There were lots of other things that happened and many of them have been posted in my blog. I went back to California and got to check out the Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose. I went to Hyderabad, India. I spent several weeks in Boston over the summer. I completed one project and started another in Richmond, Virginia. These are just some of the highlights.

As I mentioned I am not much for New Years resolutions. If I was not willing to do something on December 31 there is no reason to think that I will be willing to do it on January 1. However, there are some things I would like to accomplish in 2008.

  1. Ride some different areas and hit some challenging climbs on the Langster. I have had the March 2007 edition of Bicycling Magazine on the floor of my bedroom because it has the top 100 climbs in the United States. There two climbs in New Jersey and a couple are right over the border in New York. In 2008 I am going to invest in a bike rack for my car so I can expand my riding.
  2. Ride a velodrome. While I got to visit the Hellyer Velodrome I did not get to ride it because my schedule would not permit it. In 2008 I am going to ride at least one velodrome. This should help me with #3.
  3. Decide if I want to purchase a dedicated track bike. I have had some much fun riding the Langster that I have ruled out purchasing a full road bike (I reserve the right to change my mind at a later date) but I am thinking of getting a fixed gear bike like a Langster Comp to use when I visit the velodromes. The only thing that is holding me back is I do not want to spend money on something I will never use. I am thinking of buying a trainer and using the fixie as the trainer bike.

That is pretty much it for me. I hope everyone has a good and productive 2008.


brettok said...

Happy Festivus bro, hope you have a great 08.

LadyT said...

Hey - stumbled across your blog, wanted to say hello. I live in Lincroft and cycle the same roads. Always nice to connect with a fellow cyclist.
Stay safe out there.

Flametop59 said...

Thank you for the comment. Wave when you see me.

Have fun.

LadyT said...

Have you been outside this week? My girl is currently on the trainer but I did get out early this week to take advantage of the warm weather!

Wow! What a major coincidence. I just glanced at your profile and I'm an IT consultant too! Isn't that funny? Maybe that's how we have time to ride.

Flametop59 said...

Actually I am traveling Monday through Friday so I have not had as much time as I would like. I am actually stuck in an airport today so it looks like it is going to be a gym day. Hoping to ride on Sunday and Monday though.

LadyT said...

Weather is supposed to be cold and wet. You are a stronger soul than me to ride in that.

In an airport eh? Guessing you are returning to the Garden State? Safe journey home. Feel free to reach out and say hello. I don't ride with a club (a little too shy) but always good to have someone else to talk bikes with :)


Flametop59 said...

Hi Theresa,

I do not ride with a group either. I was thinking of joining one but I kind of like riding by myself. I also ride a single speed so I am really looking for other single speed riders.

I may not be as tough either. I am in the process of getting a trainer. I just have not been able to make it to the peddler.

Check out some of the links. NYC Bike Snob is funny. BrettOk's blog is really good as well.

Thank you for checking out my blog.