World, meet Pie-O-My, my new Raleigh Alysa FT2. The Alysa is the female version of the Cadent and oh boy, if there’s anything I’m looking forward to, it’s taking this to the Northeast. I named it Pie-O-My after Tony Soprano’s horse…yes, I know the horse dies in the stable fire that Ralphie set up but whatever, it’s one of my favorite storylines in the series and I think it’s a fitting name considering I will be riding it for two years on the streets of New Jersey. And Brooklyn. Ohhh man, I can see the rides in Prospect Park right now.
But I’m getting way too ahead of myself.
She is fast and zippy. The shifting is EFFORTLESS! This is my first time using button shifters and I cannot believe how quick the bike is to shift in and out of gears. It is also very nimble as well, I love turning corners with it! She is going to be one hell of an efficient commuter bike when she is put to task.
The only things that I need to change are the toe clip pedals- I can see using them in races and tours but for commuter riding like I usually do when I’m not on a work assignment, it’s hazardous. My hands are also getting used to the flat handlebars and I’m debating getting cushioning grips or tape for them for a comfier ride.
This bicycle does make me long for the Northeast. One of the things I’m still getting used to about Florida is how flat it is. I grew up in the Catskill Mountains so adjusting to a state where the highest mountain peak is 345 feet has been interesting. There aren’t any hills to race down and believe it or not, even though I live in a very suburban area which has bike lanes for traffic, there aren’t any bike paths for recreational use which I find very surprising. I guess living next to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, which extends 40 miles, has spoiled me. I hope it isn’t that snowy when I get back to New York around late November because there is nothing more I want to do than take this down the hills around where my parents live.
One of my friends is living my dream and is currently driving across the country. I give him so many props for that. Finally, someone is doing the one thing everyone says they’re going to do but never do it. He’s inspiring me to make some serious plans and do it within the next year or two.
I plan to make next summer action packed. I was planning to do the Erie Canal bike tour from Albany to Buffalo this year but that will be on hold until next year. I also want to finally make good on this and climb Mount Marcy, which is the highest point in New York. With all of that said, when I get to Newark, I plan to make life simpler. I hope to meet folks (yep, living in the South is getting to me) who share the same passions as I do: cooking meals together, listening to music and going to concerts, reading books, volunteering, riding bikes, planning all sorts of outdoor adventures, garden, and build and repair things. I smile every time I think about it.
Yet, although I am looking to the future, it would be a shame to neglect my present. I read this post from Simply Bike about learning how to appreciate the journey, instead of focusing on the end-point. And then, when the ending does come, to welcome the new beginnings. It made me think a lot about what I do for a living. And you know, even though the end points that I work towards feel AWESOME when we get there…very rarely I look back and yearn for how it felt that day. Honestly, the moments I look back to is how it felt to come home every night during my first assignment, listening the Ottawa radio because I was so close to Canada, smelling the mountain air, meeting all of those wonderful people that I still keep in touch with, sending letters to my friends, when Brian helped me towards the end point and all of the adventures that ensued, driving through the Adirondack State Park and seeing all of those beautiful towns that I never got to visit, laughing at the 2010 Gubernatorial Debate, Big Pony and…
these ridiculously large and delicious cups of coffee at Scoopacino’s where there were so many awesome meals and where I learned that cream cheese is an awesome addition to a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and…
these fabulous North Country sunsets.
Yes, it is all about the journey. Here’s to in medias res.