I take “short” rides every week to recharge.
I take “long” rides every year to renew.

Strava can tell you most of what you need to know about my short rides.
But the long rides deserve some extended verse.

This story doesn’t start with a bike. And it probably won’t end with a bike. But I’m for sure going to take this as long as I can with a bike.

2001 Reset

My first retreat, when I realized I was on autopilot. Note the bike foreshadowing in my day 6 report. I’m good!

Theme song for this retreat: “Watching the Wheels” by John Lennon.

2003 Reconnect

My second retreat, when I returned to the simple things. Note the 2nd bike foreshadowing in the set of bikers that I was leapfrogging going down rt250.

Theme song for this retreat: “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver.

2006 Refresh

This was a local hiking retreat, in the cooler and damper Northwest. I hiked 5 or 6 different trails, but the three key ones were Tiger Mountain (Poo Poo Point), Mount Si, and Chelan Butte. At the top of each hike, I picked up a rock and brought it home with me. I gave one rock to each family member, telling them it was their job to put their rock back where I got it from :).

2006 First All Day Ride

Pre-Strava, pre-RideWithGPS, drew a route with Microsoft Streets and Trips (routing software for cars) from Lake Sammamish to Lake Chelan and rode it. This was my first own-route all-day ride. We knew the distance (174mi). But the software told us nothing about total elevation. All we knew was that we had to go up and over Steven’s Pass. KarlSt and BobS were my wingmen. We discovered many gems along the way.

2010 Reunite

My first carless trip back East, flying into Roanoke, picking up a brand new bike, and pedaling off to a college reunion in Blacksburg.

Theme song for this retreat: “Old Dirt Hill” by Dave Matthews Band.

From “Retreat” to “Renew”

At this point, it occurred to me that soul searching was no longer the motivation for these trips. So every ride after this gets the “Renew” title. These are my regular doses of long rides to renew and refresh.

2012 – VA to PA in 4 days

2014 – RIC to VT in 3 days

2016 – Spain Backroads 6 days & Half Summer Solstice & Winter Solstice

2017 – Portugal Backroads 6 days & Summer Solstice & Winter Solstice

2018 – Charlottesville to VT to Nags Head (including Summer Solstice) & Winter Solstice

2019 – NC to PA in 5 days & Summer Solstice & Shortened Winter Solstice

2020 – Seattle to Spokane & Summer Solstice & Last Winter Solstice

2021 – Arizona with Karl and Martha … transitioning to my new “Director of Learning” role

2022 Renew – “Coloring In” Entiat
2023 Renew – Agility Leads To Balance

Related, but not on exactly the same theme: Reunites