• Patrick Gabrion

Cycling into new decade

Here's hoping you all had joyous holidays, and are ready to roll into the new decade. Many of the people I follow on Facebook are proclaiming religiously their need to start 2020 with better eating habits and are making good health a top priority.


Before I delve into such worthy topics, let me update you on my just completed 2019 cycling season. I finished with 5,133 miles — all outside — and rode my bicycles a total of 226 days out of 365 for the year. I managed 790 miles more than I accomplished in 2018. Since keeping my logbook, which started in 2001, I have hit the 5,000-mile mark three times: 5,221 in 2014; 5,224 in 2015, and 5,133 in 2019.


Jon cruising on a trail at Neptune Woods in Brunswick.

So far, the new year finds me bouncing back and forth between my two Specialized machines — the Fatboy fat bike and Crux cyclocross. It all depends on weather and road conditions as to which beast I jump on. Fat biking has taken place on the Kennebec River Rail Trail and I recently revisited Neptune Woods at Brunswick Landing with my friend Jon. I first tried out the four miles of groomed trails last February at an event put on by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, so a return trip was long overdue.


Good health is a really big deal for me, which is no surprise to anyone who follows my writings. It first manifested itself in August 2000 when I began heavily pushing the pedals in preparation for my 2002 solo bicycle ride from North Carolina to Texas, in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. While the cycling miles continue to accumulate — now standing at nearly 81,000 — I've decided to do more over the winter months to keep loose and limber at my ripe young age of 67.


You already know from my last blog entry "Zooming at Zumba" that I've been giving it a tryout; so far, all my limbs have remained attached and I haven't hurt myself or anyone else in the class. The reaction from friends and family was favorable, but my best friend Jim in Michigan indicated I should tear a corner off of my man card. Ouch! I wonder what he's going to say when he hears about my next adventure into the realm of "bend and stretch, reach for the sky?"


As a Christmas gift, my wife Vicky gave me eight weeks of yoga classes that is titled the Root and Rise Flow Series. Whatever that means? The description reads "helps build stamina, strength and focus by linking postures to breath." Again, whatever that means? Anyway, I'm looking forward to attending the sessions here in Hallowell; it's too bad Jim lives so far away, otherwise we could go together and bond as brothers. Then he could remove a corner off his man card, too.


Over the holidays, I also received a Trek coffee mug, which I use for tea because I do not like coffee, that has written on it "Ride bikes ... Have fun ... Feel good." A positive message to follow in 2020 and beyond. May the force of good health be with us all.

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