Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s Eve’

Limping into the new year

December 31, 2018

Tonight’s the last night for holiday lights.

The finish line is just around the corner. If we can just stay on our feet — never a sure thing — we’ll make it to 2019.

It’s been a week since I took my little tumble on the trail, and in that time I’d neither run nor ridden, reasoning that my crumbling temple of the soul needed a little quiet renovation.

Besides, it was cold out there. Snowy, too, and windy, with ice in the shady spots and everything. One of yis up north must have sent your miserable climate down here for a change of scenery.

Thus the cycling was right out. I’d managed a couple short, limpy walks, favoring that dodgy left knee, but skipped the resistance training ’cause my right mitt looked like a couple bucks’ worth of ground round. With a good thick bandage and heavy gloves I could shovel snow, and that was fine. Lifting weight with an actual purpose, don’t you know.

FInally, today everything seemed more or less in order, and as it started to snow again I tottered out for a short run. It felt weird at first; if you’ve ever tweaked a knee you know the feeling, the reluctance to put any serious weight on it, your stride having strayed, your mojo gone missing.

But gradually I loosened up and settled back into something like a rhythm, and while I pussyfooted around the icy patches I was able to shake off a few flakes of rust. When I got back to the ranch I even treated myself to a little quality time with the dumbbells.

No, not those dumbbells. I’m talking weights here. I’m still hoping to see the other dumbbells in the dock here directly. It’s gotta be Mueller Time one of these days.

As for the rest of yis, I hope to see you slouching around El Rancho Pendejo come the new year. Keep your heads in the clouds and your feet on the trail, and we’ll all join up on the flip side for another lap around old Sol.

Turkocalypse now

December 31, 2015
Never get out of the bed.

Never get out of the bed.

“Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger.”

Maybe. Especially if the bush is in a sunny window. It’s nearly noon, and all of three degrees above freezing, and the weather wizards say that’s about as good as it’s gonna get around here until sometime in 2016, when we could be looking at 45 and sunny.

The horror … the horror. …

Still, a man must ride. The world is full of bicycle reviews and deadlines, and never the twain shall meet if a man doesn’t ride.

And after the riding there shall be the cooking and the eating of the tinga poblana, a recipe I found when I was purging my collection in the process of searching for something I hadn’t prepared yet.

And after the eating there shall be … resolutions? Naw. I’d like to ride more in 2016, maybe (gasp) do some more self-supported touring, and toward that end I’m throttling back on the workload a bit, discarding the most irksome of my chores like unused recipes. That’s about it from this end.

How about you folks? Any big plans for the New Year? Sound off in comments.

Happy New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2012
Shot and a beer, New Year's Eve 2012

Two dead soldiers.

As 2012 stumbles drunkenly toward its denouement, I’m toasting its imminent and overdue departure with a pair of tasty Colorado beverages — the last shooter from a bottle of Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey and a chaser of Odell Brewing Co.’s 5 Barrel Pale Ale.

Earlier today I answered emails, viewed the news with the usual alarm, broadcast various snarky bits via Twitter, sent out some final invoices and collaborated with the folks at Red Kite Prayer on their end-of-the-year awards. Finally, after putting it off as long as was humanly possible, I tottered out for a short run in subfreezing temps.

My reward for such diligence? Falling flat on my ass in Monument Valley Park. Thus the medicinal whiskey.

I should know better than to exercise when tired. Technique deteriorates, what’s left of the mind wanders, and the next thing you know you’re hitting the frosty ground with a thud, like a trash bag full of bacon grease, potato peelings and empty bottles.

Yet phoenix-like I arose, cursing, and stumbled on through the cold. determined to shed another gram or two before packing on the pounds at a final holiday gathering, which happily is just across the street.

But before I go, I’d like to thank you for popping round during 2012. The joint remains woefully light on Pulitzers, MacArthur genius grants and (all of a sudden) Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey. But it continues to be remarkably heavy in lively and intelligent discourse (largely in the comments section, my posts serving as the literary equivalent of a questionable foundation laid by highly unskilled labor).

So slainte to thee and thine, and pop round again next year for some fresh nonsense.

• This just in from The Midnight Rambler: “New Year’s Eve,” via Tom Waits.

New Year’s Eve blows

December 31, 2011
The Fat Guy, circa 2002

The Old Guy Who Gets Fat In Winter, circa 2002. How little things change in a decade.

The wind is clocking a Brazilian miles per hour out there today, which means it can strip you of your pubic hair in an instant (after first blowing off your pants).

Happily, I’m safe inside, doing a bit of light pixel-pushing for, thinking halfheartedly about riding the trainer, and wondering what I can whip up to fetch to an informal New Year’s Eve gathering at a neighbor’s place. Tequila surprise? Nope, there are too many surprises lurking in that Mexican cactus whiskey. I don’t know these people well enough for that. Homemade salsa and chips will suffice.

I had hoped to get in one last ride to close out 2011, but the wind disabused me of that notion. Plus given my calorie consumption this holiday season it felt something like bolting the gate to the sty after the pig had escaped.

A quick check of my training log finds that I rode just short of 3,500 miles this year, about half of what I did 20 years ago when I was still racing a ton. No records exist of my 2001 mileage. However, I had begun losing interest in competition after a brief peak as a cyclo-crosser in 1999, and living outside Weirdcliffe made training on the road difficult and getting to races problematic and expensive, so I expect I had already begun my glide path toward the lower mileage of the recreational rider.

But there’s something about working in cycling journalism that — for me, at least — makes cycling less recreational than it might be for, say, a radiologist, carpenter or accountant. I write columns, edit stories and draw cartoons about people who ride bicycles over impossible distances with authority and panache, then perform a poor imitation of them in my free time. Some days it can feel something like dressing up in other people’s clothes, like a fat kid wearing a Superman costume.

This is one reason I was glad to find I could take up running again after a few months off. I don’t earn a dime from the sport or know anything about it and thus can contentedly lumber along, nodding sympathetically at the pained expressions on the other runners I encounter. It’s more medicinal than recreational, the equivalent of a hearty dose of fish oil or flossing your teeth.

And man — you want to sample an activity that elevates cycling above other pasatiempos, take up running three days a week. It makes a brand-new Brooks saddle feel like the gentle hand of the Lord.

So let’s all do more of it in 2012, no matter how badly. It’s an election year, after all, and people will need the comic relief.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

• Late update: Thanks and a tip of the Mad Dog Media IWW tuque to the folks WordPress tells me are the Most Active Commenters of 2011:

  1. Khal S. (473)
  2. Larry T. (296)
  3. Ben S. (117)
  4. James (116)
  5. Libby (111)

You folks keep the joint lively and it’s a pleasure to have you — and all the rest of you — stopping by.

New Year’s freezin’ Eve

December 31, 2010
The Cateye of the Tiger

The Cateye of the Tiger

If ever there was a night not to be a party animal, this is it: 6 degrees with a low of minus-8 in the forecast and wind-chill values around minus-20.

My idea of a rockin’ New Year’s Eve is not sharing icy roads with the lesser primates, courting frostbite, hypothermia and Death by Eejit, to drink among strangers too stupid to stay home where they belong. These pootbutts drive in snow about as well as Baptists dance on Sundays.

As usual, we got just enough snow to introduce natives of warmer climes to the limitations of four-wheel drive and the locations of our local emergency rooms, police stations and body shops.

Nevertheless, it left our neighborhood looking like a bobsled run laid out by a timid German (flat and in a grid pattern), and I went outdoors exactly thrice, to shovel the block and our driveway. It took three trips and two tea breaks because I was freezing my not-inconsiderable ass off.

I clamped my road bike to the Cateye CS-1000 Cyclosimulator last night, but I never used it. Shoveling is fine exercise, or so I told myself as I was uncorking a bottle of 2009 Penelope Sanchez.

Just Thursday I was riding dusty trails in long sleeves and leg warmers and feeling slightly overdressed. I can’t face the trainer. Not yet, please, God. There will be plenty of time for that sort of thing in the new year. I rode more than 4,000 miles outdoors this year and riding indoors will have to wait until 2011.

In the meantime, I raise my glass to you and yours in gratitude for your generosity in popping round from time to time to visit a cantankerous ink-stained wretch, and ask that as the old year closes you give some thought to those who may find little to celebrate this New Year’s Eve.

I’ll be thinking of an old friend and colleague, a brother cyclist, who spent Christmas in the emergency room with his gravely ill wife. She’s back home tonight, which is good news, but not the sort that sends the champagne corks flying. Strength and peace to you both, C and T.