2015 Question Marks

January– a cold month prone to dreary days and shades of brown on all sides– is generally an optimal time for me to hang out inside and ponder big ideas for the year ahead.

Usually at least two or three appealing active undertakings grab me and won’t let me go. Last year those big doings were our two-week Colorado tour, the Appalachian Adventure 1000K, and my bike tour-marathon combination in Harpers Ferry.

A year falls into place under the umbrella of these bigger scale activities, and free time is dedicated to condition the body and mind so events might be enjoyed and not endured.

I like shaping years this way. Felkerino and I share a few common goals that we work toward together. Big activities give me long-term structure, and I have concrete milestones to anticipate and hopefully achieve.

Running at sunset

This year is starting out strangely for me, as I’m not seeing anything significant calling my heart and legs. I hope to ride the brevets, but I’m on the fence about PBP. I’d like to complete at least two marathons this year, but what else is out there? I don’t know.

I’ve jotted down a bike tour, but as to where it will take place? I’m not sure. I’m not setting any mileage goals, but plan to ride and run regularly and continue my commitment to active transportation.

Small goals occupy my mind, many of which have little to do with riding or running– eat healthy, prepare my own lunches, reduce sugar and alcohol consumption, return to regular strength training, and fully engage in my work.

These are not small goals, exactly, but rather the type that require more rigorous daily attention. They have a more general purpose of improvement to my overall health and well-being.

As I muddled through this post I had an “Aha!” moment. Maybe I don’t have to have grand bicycling or running goals for 2015. Who cares? They can be question marks for now, while I attend to the smaller-scale activities that demand my attention.

Felkerino and I will figure out PBP in the next month or so. We love being outside on our bikes and always manage to find places and time to bike tour. Running is my meditation. I will continue to do it, whether or not I write down a specific goal about it.

Question marks are okay. Question marks mean I’m taking my time. I’m open to possibility.


  1. COME TO OREGON!!! You could do the Eugene Marathon then bike one or more of our many scenic bikeways. I will help on this end! I dislike the holiday season and can”t wait for a new year abd making plans for new adventures. May is a great month to bike in Oregon, but the great McKenzie Pass ride (while cars are not allowed) probably won’t open for bikes only until mid month). The Wallowas are gorgeous that time if year, too…as is the coast. Come on out! Eugene Pre Classic is end of May. You would love it! Jo


  2. This month and next have always been difficult for me. Cold and dark just isn’t very attractive in my mind. You might never guess that my wife and I both grew up on the Canadian border, but we did. My goal at this time of the year is to stay in shape and somehow, someway, make it to spring when life gets better and the real riding begins.


    1. Annie, My wife and I got married in, and lived a number of years in Burlington. Two of our kids were born there. I worked at MCHV, now known as Fletcher Allen Med Ctr. We would be up there now if it weren’t for that little thing referred to as WINTER (see my post above).


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