I’ve expanded my packing list so that when preparing for adventures of life on the road, you now need a wallet, passport, cycling shoes, and cell phone. So after having invested entirely too many hours in packing and preparing your suitcases for months of home-away-from-home living, if everything else is lost then you can either buy new stuff on arrival, or in reality you just don’t need it. #TipsFromTed You’re welcome.
I hit the road two days ago and will be a nomadic cyclist for, umm… a while. Fresh back from the first training camp for the 2013 season in Tuscany in mid-December, I embraced a scenic, white Christmas in New Hampshire before jetting out to the bay area of California. I’ll set up shop here for not quite a week, then come early January I’ll spend nearly ten days in sunny SoCal, complete with a bold and brash team presentation for the new Cannondale Pro Cycling, followed by travels to Argentina where I’ll have my second go at the Tour of San Luis, and then onto Europe for my spring campaign which runs through Paris-Roubaix. No moss grows under my feet, which is a weird expression, although I suppose it’s literally true so I’ll go with it.
Home sweet home for the holidays was exactly that. In recent years I can be found returning stateside from team camps about 48 hours before Christmas, which is a surefire way to be unjolly and brimming with stress. So it was a peaceful alternative when we were wheels down in Boston a full 10 days prior to Christmas, and it was merely three hours later that I donned my most festive yuletide apparel and was off to the first Christmas party of the season.
“Ho Ho Ho” indeed.
Mind you, that vest is reversible to a plaid green and white which is twice as amazing as it sounds.
A few other holiday parties filled my time home, in addition of course to riding my bike a’plenty. In two weeks home I was on the trainer a mere trio of days and the rest was a mix of neoprene, Gore-Tex, and sweet fenders. The trip home also provided a mirthful Christmas at my aunt and uncle’s house in Portland, ME. At every family holiday gathering, aunt Betsy provides some table-side party favors that are highly entertaining and in all likelihood made in China. My earphone-earmuffs were a hit this year, but the real crowning jewel to the dinner festivities were Dad’s stick-on mustaches which he generously shared with his two boys.
Goodness, if we three Kings don’t look regal and distinguished then I don’t think anyone does!
From there it was onto Wednesday and with just 364 days until next Christmas I had a smashing day on the bike. That was followed by a delicious home-smoked dinner of salmon and pork ribs, and while I can’t make the direct connection and I’m vehemently not pointing fingers at anyone involved, I then had a very unsavory 12 hour bout of food poisoning. Thank the good Lord I recovered miraculously because the next day, Thursday, was Mom’s birthday. And for goodness sake, if I’m going to be on the road as much as I am, I sure as shootin’ better be a good son and be home for Mom’s birthday. So I was.
When it’s written in cursive and in chocolate, you know it’s sincere! Even if they forget to cross the “t” and dot the “i”.
(Another sign of sincerity is when your two sons take you to one of New England’s finest eateries, Arrows Restaurant. You’re the BEST Mom! I love you and happy happy birthday… again.)
Yet another high point in this snowy time home was trying to remove my car from the driveway. A mere 4 inches of snow fell one day, but then it was topped by a crusty layer of rain and ice. My new snow tires didn’t stand a chance to such treacherous conditions. In an hour of shoveling, pushing, and tractor pulling (no lie), we finally got my car out of our 1% gradient and 100 foot long driveway. (That awesome noise you hear is the tractor idling in the background, waiting to give her snow-chained all.)
There is, of course, this YouTube masterpiece which is precisely what I was trying to avoid. Which we did, thankfully.
Well, life on the road continues and while I should wrap up this post right now, I’ll just say that from time to time I like to jump into my Way-way-back-machine and reminisce the days of yore. There’s this, for example – I decided that after having what feels like lived out of a suitcase for a few years, despite having apartments in various countries throughout my career, it was time to decorate my plastic’y, wheeled home with some housewarming accoutrements and make it really feel like proper digs. I’m still a huge fan of Santa Clause hanging out on my roof with Steve’s submission to that contest.
Okay, time for more adventures. Tootle-oo!