Monday, January 02, 2006

So long, 2005

So long, 2005. But before I send you off, a quick LA story to put things in proper perspective:


(circa New Year's Eve, circa 1990)
It was a party to end all parties. We had been given free reign to destroy the interior of Robison Hall, my building at the UCLA student Co-op, and a designated cultral landmark of the City of Los Angeles. My roomate Peter and I are running for our lives from our room. We had just broken off the valve of a large fire extinguisher and it was unleashing havoc. Moments later we run into Jay who's been going room to room by bashing through the walls with a sledgehammer. He's covered head to toe with drywall dust and traces of fire extingusher foam. People are running amok and screaming for no apparent reason. Eventually, we find our way to a balcony overlooking the main road. Couches have been dragged into the street and folks are sitting on them watching the chaos unfold. Someone shines a floodlight on us. "Take it off!" Zenya yells from across the street...

Fast forward 15 years and I'm fixing a hair clog in a bathroom sink. The clock has struck midnight. "Happy 2006," I say quietly to myself. Time changes all things, and that's a good thing. No matter how much I miss those reckless days I wouldn't trade them back for what I have now, even if I could. We go through life inventing and reinventing ourselves, and back then I never would have thought I'd have the life I have now. I've shed a few labels and gained a few more in their place: husband, father, and of course, cyclist. I try my best to grow as each.

Our weddingAs a husband, I'd like to think I'm doing something right. Gina and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in 2005 in the company of our closest friends and family. Of course, not all of this is my fault. Gina has been great at putting up with all of my stupid quirks and many imperfections. The way things are going now, I could easily see us doing this again in another 10 years.

Sagada and JoeAs a father, I saw some real milestones this year. Sagada learned to really "read", do some math (although Fibonacci numbers are still giving her trouble), and most importantly, ride a bike. I'd like to think I had a hand in that. With all the "big" rides I did last year, some of my best rides have been ripping the mile long Wakefield Creek trail with my daughter, then racing her back to the parking lot. Sure, she fell a few times, and daddy even ran over her bike once (accidentally), but she always got back on and kept pedaling.

As a cyclist, it was my best year yet. I'll always remember: 12 Hours of Lodi; 24 hours of Big Bear; Wednesdays at Wakefield; riding the entire C&O Canal in a day; Singlespeed World Championships; SM100; Buzzard Rocks; Jim Thorpe; the C&O Canal Women's ride; the fixed 40 ; Elizabeth Furnace epics; spreading the singlespeed gospel; the Southern Traverse; Douthat, and all those Monday and Thursday nights at Wakefield. I had some incredible rides and races, but most importantly, there were a whole lotta friends who made it all matter.

So as 2006 is upon me and the last remnants of that blasted hair clog are fished out of the drain, I'm thinking back to that time circa 1990 when we razed Robison Hall. I'm thinking of the friends I've lost touch with, and some that I've rediscovered. Gina and Sagada are asleep in the next room. Sagada tried to wait till midnight but just missed it, dozing off at 11:30. I'll probably never get another chance to destroy an LA cultural landmark, but then again why would I want to? It's like the revamped verision of "A Clockwork Orange" with that additional chapter where little Alex voluntarily gives up his evil ways. Even though I always hated that new ending, somehow I can't help but relate.

Happy New Year everyone.
Accotink 2005
Last ride of 2005 (photo by Gina)


Blogger rickyd 2 said...

Absolutely perfect wrapup, bro. Thanks!

12:59 PM

Blogger Fort James said...

Good stuff Joe. I really enjoy reading your blog, especially the L.A. stuff.

Take Care,


1:21 PM


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