Sunday, January 14, 2007

One year...

I was saving a post like this for 2 weeks from now, when I have officially been a Delaware resident for one year. However, today's ride cemented the words in my head, and I lay them out here for you to read.

A.I. DuPont High School found E-town, FatMarc, Diane, Chuck, Jan, Paul I., Lisa (big deal), Dan, Jeff C. (to whom I never actually introduced myself at DCCofD practices, which is a shame), and myself chamois-ing up for a fixed gear road ride. Actually only Paul, Lisa, Jeff, and myself were on fixies, but who's counting. In true DCCofD fashion, we can't just ride the road like normal folk, but we have to head to an orchard to eat cider donuts and drink coffee. It was a nice, relaxed ride with some delicious fatty donuts, and some fancy pizza afterwards. Damn it felt good to ride Ghetto Prom again. Though the bulge in the front tire made for a bumpy ride.

Anyway, the point of my story is this: these friends, this community, these roads and trails, have allowed me to start growing roots in this new area. My move, initially to Wilmington, from upstate NY was a bit of a shake up. I was leaving behind a place I loved, saying goodbye to my best friends (who also dispersed around the country), adjusting to life outside of college, and moving relatively alone to a completely new place. I had the short term company of Cerissa (r4L), but was essentially starting fresh.

Four days into DE life, I met the Northern DE mountain bike / cross community through a random email to a now defunct road club. We did the Icicle loop every Saturday through March. That was my introduction to what has become the DCCofD . Through the summer, work and climbing kept me from riding as much with this crew, who was hitting the mountain bike racing season hard.

Outside of biking, I had only met people through work. I do not dislike these people, but they see the world differently than I. They spend every weekend drunk and inactive, a very boring, sheltered way of life. I was unhappy. I missed college, best friends, and my family in Maine. I tried to ride, but did so relatively alone.

Then, mid summer, things changed. 12 hours of Allamuchy threw me into the company of some of the DCCofD. Also, JF and I were riding and climbing together more often, and I moved to Newark. Now, I was closer to work, closer to some awesome riding, and closer to some work friends that were more active than the Wilmington crowd. Life was looking good.
Cross season, however, really made me feel at home. I set a goal of 10 races in a discipline to which I was new. I had a goal, I trained as hard as work would allow, and saw some pretty decent results. More importantly, I had a lot of fun, and met some great people.

I still miss my now transcontinental best friends, and being 10 hours from Maine is not a piece of cake, but I have started to grow roots in a place I initially thought I would hate forever. Between climbing friends and cycling friends and friends and family I can visit, life is good.

People make the difference, so be good to those around you. Here's to a even better 2007 - my second year in the mid Atlantic.

PS - Blue Mountain is NOT skiing.


airing out said...

wow. You make me remember my first year out of college with a job. Liking where you live is huge. Friends make the difference. Cheers.

Evan Carroll said...

Hey man. I have gotten behind on reading your stuff, which is a shame because for a while i wasn't missing anything. Anyway, glad to hear things are good! I know (as you said) that's it's been a real up and down, so that's great that it's working out. Maybe you'll think about planning some more eh?