After two months of dithering, I have finally started to sketch out my battle plan for 2017. I have only a couple of solid commitments to deal with and the rest is flexible.
- Volunteering – because every time I see Michelle (WABA’s event manager) I feel guilty.
- Vasa Ride – I’ve done this ride several times during the event and on my own or with others during the summer and fall. It’s well worth doing and you should give it a go. I mean when was the last time you had warm blueberry soup?
- Tour de Fat – I am a trained beer puller. I have two hours of Tour de Fat beer pulling expertise. It would be a shame to let my skills evaporate like beer suds.
- Family Events
- Holy cow, my daughter’s graduating from Butler University. Woot! (This one is not at all flexible.)
- Family reunion – this is in the middle of July.
This is a much shorter list than usual but has two new (to me) rides.
- Car-Free Skyline Drive – I just heard about this today. It’s a brutally hilly road but, well, no cars! Also, I totally suck at hill climbing.
- Bike to Work Day – probably my last one. Not because I don’t like the ride but because I am retiring in August.
- Tour dem Parks – A ride around Charm City (Baltimore) that has very good word-of-mouth reviews. Also I might get to meet Eleanor (who was a bun in the oven the last time I was in Baltimore) because I hear she is swell.
- 50 States Ride (my 10th!) – Need I say more?
So far, I have committed to an exhibition game against the Red Sox on March 31 and an Orioles v Red Sox game in April in Baltimore. I blocked out on my calendar all the weekends that the Nationals are at home. If you want to go to a game with me, I am tolerable company. I can provide references. Also, I will shamelessly accept any tickets you get comped or otherwise stuck with. Also, there are two road series against Philadelphia. I might drive up for a day game just for the hell of it. Wanna ride shotgun?
When the Nats are not playing I have free weekends. So these are all potential hiking days. My white board list of hikes is pretty similar to last year because I failed miserably at hiking last year. Doh.
- Potomac Heritage from Turkey Run to Chain Bridge and back
- Thompson Hollow Loop
- Buck Hollow/Mary’s Rock
- Double Bear Rocks
- Stairway to Heaven
- Broad Hollow/Pine Hill Gap
- Loudon Heights/Split Rock
- Jones Run/Doyle River
- Corbin Mountain
Mostly these are in the mountains to the west. If you live in the DC area and don’t mind getting up at the crack of dawn, feel free to come with. As with biking, I may be old but I am slow.
I could also use these non-Nats weekends for bike trips. Maybe an out and back between Williamsburg and Richmond on the new-ish rail trail.
Foreign (?) Travel
My daughter is thinking about going overseas for grad school so this would be an excellent excuse for a trip. If she goes to school in the US, this will require a college move-in road trip. Also, my son may still be in Thailand next winter. I wouldn’t mind seeing the place when it’s not pouring rain.
Since I am retiring in August, I am saving up my annual leave for a big check. Once I get the 50 States out of the way, I think I might ride somewhere warm. Key West sounds like a good destination. The rough plan is to take the Adventure Cycling Atlantic Coast Route about 1,500 miles to Key West, take a ferry to Tampa, ride across Florida to Miami and take Amtrak home. I figure this will take about a month to do. This would be the warm up for the big one in 2018 which will probably involve riding to the Pacific Northwest.
Also between my birthday and the 50 States Ride I may have time for a short tour. I have no idea what that might entail. Maybe a road trip to rail trails in Virginia. Or the Grand Canyon of the East.