Life in a sauna.

Each year, time seems to go by faster. Sometimes, it scares me how quickly my life seems to be flying by now. When I was a kid, I was always anticipating something—my next birthday, a friend’s party, the last day of school. I wanted to turn 16 and get my drivers license, then I wanted to turn 18, then 21. Now, each birthday seems to come too soon.

Anyway, this summer has flown by, and I realized that I have a stack of unfinished blog posts from various things I’ve done this year, and a hundred more ideas in my head of things I should write about. But realistically, I’m not going to write about them all, because there are always more adventures to be had. So, here’s a summary of some of the highlights, mostly so that I don’t forget them.

This summer was unbelievably hot. Constantly. It started Memorial Day weekend, the weekend of my 26th birthday, and it has not let up. Day after day of temps skyrocketing into the 90s, with high humidity.  Halfway into August, I finally started to get used to it. Normally we’ll have a week or two of 90+ temps, and that’s the big “heat wave.” It seemed like this whole summer was one long heat wave.

birthday

It was a summer of visitors, and riding with new people. In May, my new friend Brendon, who I’d met in Georgia, stayed with us for a night or two to ride Rothrock, and he liked it so much that he came back again just a couple weeks ago. Brendon drives the demo rig for Pivot Cycles, so he spent the summer in the northeast going from event to event. I think our place is going to be a standard stop for him when he’s in the area. He loves riding Rothrock, and I love to see people enjoy endless rock gardens as much as I do. We got to go on a few rides together, and I gave him recommendations for a few other rides in the area that he did on his own.

Brent, this guy who I’d met on the Sojourn last year, messaged me and asked to stay with us for a night while he was on a bike tour from Pittsburgh to Emmaus. We took him to the local tavern and showed him a good time before sending him the scenic way to his next stop.

Trina and the family spent time at our place on a couple different occasions. The kids loved the alpacas and couldn’t wait to feed them every morning. Rural life suited them well, and coming home to a dinner of delicious tacos suited me well.

I led a couple ladies rides and got some people mountain biking for the first time, which is always an incredibly rewarding experience.

ladies

Peter came back to the area, as he does every summer, and we went for a good ride in Coopers. Peter is 74, and every year, he visits Central PA for a week or two while his son skates at Camp Woodward. He is from Vermont, and rides mountain bikes. I first rode with him last year, when he wanted a ride guide and no one else from the shop was available. I discovered that he’s awesome, and this year, I just wanted to make sure I got out for a day with him. One wasn’t enough, but unfortunately, he was here when my schedule was crazy, and it was all I could swing. I hope to go to Vermont to visit him sometime before next summer.

peter

I also got to spend a lot of time with a visitor from Australia. Becky was also in the area because he son went to Woodward, and I got to ride with her at Allegrippis and Rothrock. She spent the 3rd of July on the roof of Rothrock with us to watch the fireworks, as is our yearly tradition, and she got to go on a couple group rides and meet our wacky crew of bicycle-loving people.

rooftop

The Raystown Mountain Bike Skills Park opened at the beginning of July, after a long and frustrating road. On the day it opened, we all hung out on the deck and grilled and drank and were merry. I followed Jake into the expert line and discovered that it’s not as hard as it looks. I got over my fear of everyone watching me and fell in love with the all-consuming focus and exhilaration of learning how to jump my bike.

brendancalebskillspark

Evan and I went on our first big out-of-state trip together, to Northstar Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California. We went to a bike show/expo called Saddle Drive, and while we were there for work, we had plenty of fun too. This was the first event like this that I covered for Singletracks, and it required a totally different style of writing than what I usually do—quick, “newsy” articles based on only a short amount of time with a product. There were things I would do differently next time for sure, but all in all, for my first go, I think I did alright. It was also my first time riding lift-accessed trails, which was a pretty cool experience.

benandjustinevan

I participated in, and won, a mountain bike race, which I wrote about in detail here.

I started rock climbing and bouldering more seriously than I ever have in the past, and I’m totally addicted to it.

So what’s in store for the coming months?

I’m headed to Interbike in Vegas next week for another work trip, my third one this year, but by far the biggest. It should be interesting. It’ll definitely be a new experience, and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot. I haven’t begun to get nervous yet, but that’ll come in a few days, I’m sure.

I need to work on my time management skills so that I’m not freaking out all the time about the things that I should be doing when I’m not doing them, and then procrastinating and wasting precious minutes when I do have the time to get stuff done (this is basically my life lately). I want to maximize my time and my days.

I want to focus on doing some long bike rides (one 50+ miler a week is my goal until the weather gets cold), but also want to keep things balanced and put time into running and climbing as well. I think I might have too many hobbies.

Right now, I’m just looking forward to some cooler days and brilliant foliage. Fall is my favorite season, and I’m ready for it.

paddle

paddlebw

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