This Year

I’ve been saying for awhile that 2013/being 30 has been the best year of my life. A few pieces of evidence.

The year started with sparkles, fortune telling with lead, neighbors and good friends. And to celebrate my birthday, the annual Bien Rica Clothing Swap…

On a whim (a bit of a theme this year), I hopped in a car to yell my lungs out at the Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville. Great idea, that was.

I closed out February and started March with a trip that really turned everything around. I’d been in a rough stretch. Not after a weekend in Ouachita.

I was lucky enough to be invited to see Alash, a group of Tuvan throat singers, in a beautiful reconstructed barn outside of Lincoln. It was a magical concert.

During Spring Break, I joined the fabulously talented Casey Sheppard on a trip to Houston for an art festival. We took mountain bikes, camped, got silly, and mega-bonded.

Speaking of mega-bonded, I continued to have great rounds of shenanigans with Sydney. We do the twins look so well.

And speaking of mega-bonded, I shared so many great rides, on gravel or through Wilderness, with Matt. What a tremendous human. And through him, to have a second family in Karen, Talley, and Liem. I’m so lucky.

In May, I traveled to Minnesota for the Almanzo, and in the course of the race, finally got to know Erin, someone I’d met when he lived in Omaha but never really gotten to know. It transformed the race and was the start of yet another great friendship.

The end of May and beginning of June were spent at Field School, where I ate hemlock and didn’t die. I learned so much. I reshaped life expectations. Nature Girl was born.

I made my mom proud. I wrote furiously. I decided maybe I should teach at some point. I realized I am already a teacher, even if it’s not in a classroom.

Spending 3 weeks outdoors was fantastic. I took a picture of a bird in flight that kind of blew my mind.

June had so many long rides. I finished Dirty Kanza. That was crazy. On the Ponca Ride, 2 weeks later, we had tailwind the whole way. Two weeks after that, it was Odin’s Revenge. Add in Almanzo and the overnight hundy in July, and I was riding a whole lot of gravel every other Saturday. 100 miles, then 200, then 150, then 150, then 100. Dang.

Well after that, it was time for a break and a change of pace. I went up to Minnesota, and went to a velodrome for the first time. And I met Anna. Remember mega-bonding? Yup, that happened. 

After having known Butch for years, and having had great digital correspondence, I also finally got to hang out and ride bikes with him. And go swimming with Keller. 

Exploring at Cuyuna Lakes was a blast.

Then, back in Minneapolis, Anna taught me how to ride on the track. Add this to the goal list for 2014…

In August, I got to be part of the wedding of one of my dearest friends, Berly. It was easily the best wedding ceremony I’ve ever been to, with a fantastic benediction from Christopher McCammon. And the dance party was great, too.

A week later, it was time for Gravel Worlds, which I contested on a singlespeed. It was hot. It was hard. Pulling into the finish at my family farm, it was awesome.

Then it was time for cyclocross season. Through an excellent partnership with Josh Rice, I helped bring a new grassroots cyclocross series to Lincoln. I led countless beginner clinics, and was handsomely rewarded with a superb crop of beginner women joining the Sheclismo crew.

Right in the middle of that season, I took another trip, this time to Fruita, Colorado. My first time in Utah, it was by bike.

A whole lot of my year has been spent traveling with Corey and Matt. I couldn’t ask for better travel buddies, but they do need to start telling me about their outfit choices so I don’t feel so left out of the matchy-matchy time.

My little brother got married, and I now have a fantastic sister. I’ve never had a sister. It’s pretty great. 

Back to ‘cross season, which I also did all on singlespeed. Results-wise, it was up and down, mostly up, but mostly really, really fun. Which is the point. I had a blast. How can you not, when War Axe makes a giant head cut-out of you?

Then I went to Philadelphia for SSCXWC and Bilenky Junkyard CX. That, too, was incredible. Really, really great weekend. Wow. Smiles, snow, new friends, old friends, new explorations.

Then home again, and with a firm conviction to start a Ph.D. program. So, that’s big. And at WWASH #11, there were hugs. Lots of good hugs.

I’ve had fabulous housemates in Diane, Liz, and Megan. My cats are hilarious, cuddly, and, well, cats. I have great family, and great friends. I’m looking forward to adventures already planned, and that I don’t yet know about. Thanks to all who participate in making my trips around the sun so rich in love and wonder.


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