Welcome 2017!

Well, if I had to rate 2016 a score I would give it a 7 out of 10. Okay, maybe better than average, but not everything I had hoped it would be. I completed 3 out of my 6 goals I set from last year, so I've rolled the non-completed ones into this year and added a few.

I did not make it to 2,000 miles last year like I had hoped. Almost 1,400. Meh. I guess it was a decent improvement upon 2015, so I will take that. I did ride the 24 Hour Challenge and met my mileage goal. Thumbs up. Thumbs DOWN for not losing weight. Didn't work on that as hard as I should have. I've already begun working on that so far. More on that later. ODR (one day ride) to Sturgis...does it count partly if I have the route scribbled out? Just have to do it I guess. Commute to and from work at least once a month for all 12 months of 2016. Complete. And, the last one...run a 10k with Patti. Check. I thought I retired from running again, but then I signed up for another 10k this year over Memorial Day weekend. Patti talked me into it.

So here is what I'm shooting for in 2017: Two mountain bike races, still looking for 2000 miles, Ride to Sturgis, 10k run, lose 20-30 lbs and continue the commute streak.

As for the whole 10k thing....maybe I will just run one a year and keep that streak going too. It's too much work to retire, deal with all the media hype then come back...negotiate contracts, press appearances and re-work product endorsements. Ugh. So I guess I'll just be a mediocre runner and make one special star appearance per year until no one notices any longer.

Oh, and this will be the year that I ride past 10,000 miles since I've been keeping track in 2009. That is decent I guess.

As for the weight thing...so since I tend to do things rather bizarre fashion, here's what I decided. I'm sick of being a tub of goo and fat. I decided that for all of January, I'm going vegetarian - but not totally veggie, I'll add some fish. I just want to see what happens. Will I get angry and hate life. Good chance of that. Will I be lethargic and zapped of energy. Doubt that. And that's really what I need right now. I did my kids a favor and cooked up a pound of bacon for New Year's Day morning, boy that was hurtful. I was good and resisted even a taste. (I will tell you though, I almost spread the bacon grease on some bread and ate it!)

Anyways, we'll see how this goes. I also finally "checked in" to the Planet Fitness. I had re-upped my membership back in September I think when they were running a special, but never bothered to go in since. I guess when it's only $10 per month, it makes it too easy not to commit. The problem is getting up at 4:30am to prepare and go in before work. I really do need to do it though. Maybe I'll go after work some times too to mix it up.

I did get in a few riding miles yesterday during the Hair of the Dog Annual New Year's Day ride in downtown Grand Rapids. It was the usual good fun. After a few miles we stopped in a weird off-beat parking lot where were met by the Michigan Coast Riders, who furnished some cookies, pretzels and get this...FREE BEER!! Cases of PBR, All Day IPA, Miller High Life, Butt Light and Strohs. Free for the taking.

After this rather lengthy stop (it only seemed like a long stop, because I had no one to talk to) we rode about a mile to The Point (a bar), then stopped for more beverages. I snuck a roadie in my back pocket before I left the party bus and warmed up inside sipping my imported beverage (since I brought it in from outside, right?). The expected time of departure was one hour later. Ugh...I've got no one to talk to. So I finished the beer and headed out on my own. Back to the car I went and headed home. It was fun, but didn't have the time to be standing around listening to the voices in my head. At least this way I had time to get home and take down all the outdoor Christmas lights, tree and other thing-a-ma-bobs - so that was good.

Glad 2016 is over, but really cautious about expecting a lot out of 2017. This will be Patti's last full year of school, where she starts her residency - which is almost 1.5 hours away. Ugh - its going to be painful for all of us, even Patti as she's going to have to deal with me being whiny. Then I'm also kinda worried about mom. She's up and down, really tired. She's tired of being tired. That's been going on for a few months now. The kids don't know but there is a fantastic trip we'll be taking with mom and dad in February to a special place in Florida and then Patti and I have a date weekend planned in Chicago for a Blackhawks hockey game and stay downtown Chi-town. That gets us to March....let's hope we make it that far first in one piece before I go planning too much more for the rest of the year.

Happy New Year everyone. Hope I see you out there on the trails/dirt roads.

New Years Day breakfast: eggs, onions on tortillas and a little mustard. It was actually really yummy.

Vegetarian Chili. Basically almost like how I make my chili but without about 2lbs of random meats.

Pretty ingredients for the chili.

Hill race prep. You can see the riders at the base. This is one of few REAL cobble stone roads in Grand Rapids. I rode up it as fast as I could and I was bouncing all over the place.

 Secret rest stop. I found this can of hot chocolate in the back of the van just behind the can in the picture. It was delicious.

Inside "The Point" bar. Full of bikers.
Pretty sure in the previous picture you could see that there was more than 80 people in there.

Cool pano of the secret rest stop.