It's now fall and time for a moment of reflection: was summer everything we wanted, did we fill our boots with adventure, discover new trails and shred with new friends and old? The answer should always be yes, or don't give up and chase it hard into the fall.
Internally over the last few years I have able to identify that fill-line and when I begin to think of cold weather can check back to see if I am satisfied with my summer. In order to move forward sometimes it's paramount to reflect back and set a ground zero - this used to come from racing and it was easy to do - with adventures it's a bit more of a feeling than hard results.
Events, alpine tours, new destinations, things outside the comfort zone, travel and meeting new people, these are the marques of being 'alive' in a cycling world. Where I live, the summer is short and so we must "make hay while the sun shines."
Last year my big goal was the EWS (Enduro World Cup Series) in North America and the prep that lead into those: North American Enduro Series, the Rocky Altitude Team and smaller preparation events like Wade's Excellent Adventure. 2013 was the first year ever for the EWS and I wanted to be part of it from the ground up - it was an amazing experience - but for me too much serious racing.
Earlier in 2013 the Rocky Mountain Team went to Vancouver Island for it's annual team trip - wow what an experience. I travelled farther and rode more places on my home island than I have ever before, in a single week. What a mind blower and it was only April. Throughout the rest of the year we continued with a cooperative project between Mountain Bike Tourism BC and Rocky Mountian Bikes. This project, to film the six different tourism regions of BC and diferatiate their unique individual flavours, not an easy task. It is a two year project that will see completion only by the end of 2014.
The MTBBC tourism project had me on Vancouver Island, around the Vancouver Coastal Region and finally out to the Kootenay Rockies, twice. From surfing on Vancouver Island to alpine rips in Revelstoke and high mountain shreds in Nelson, the summer got pretty full with travel, adventure, singletrack and that doesn't even include 7 days of BC Bike Race.
So it was with a satisfied grin that I put away 2013 and comfortably settled into XC skiing.
This year we finally wrapped up the two year project with Mountain Bike Tourism BC and are deep into editing. The trips we took to Northern BC, Cariboo Chilcotins and Thompson Okanagan were beyond a dream, they saturated my yearn for travel and adventure. I managed a few Gran Fondo's (Valley Fondo, Tour de Victoria) and with a final opportunity to visit Israel in the late summer I pushed the envelope but hey when will you ever get invited back. So while one year took a little longet to fill the other filled up quickly.
At any rate it's the reflection back on the summer that allows us to move forward. Though my goals aren't laid out in too structured a format, I know what I want to get from my summer and I know when that 'Fill-Line' is hit. I can now plan my winter, plan some ski lessons for my kids and think clearly about where the family might like to take a nice warm holiday while we wait for the snow to arrive.