Posts Tagged ‘retirement’

An Early Retirement Gift to Myself

I recently completed thirty years of service with the Federal government and became eligible to retire.  And although I am not retiring quite yet, I decided to buy myself an anniversary gift to celebrate the milestone.  And when I saw this bike on eBay I knew what the gift to myself should be.

The newest addition to my collection of bikes is a Surly Disc Trucker.  Surly‘s Long Haul Trucker (LHT) enjoys a reputation as one of the best riding and most value-packed touring bikes out there.  It’s been around long enough to be tested in the real world, in all kinds of places, with all kinds of loads on all kinds of roads.  My 2012 Surly Disc Trucker is an LHT but upgraded with disc brakes to provide a bit more braking performance than the standard rim-brakes that the LHT provides.  Other features of this bike include:  thicker-walled and larger-diameter 4130 CroMoly steel frame tubing than standard sport-touring frames;  a longer wheelbase than you’ll find on a road or hybrid bike, making for maximum stability, comfort and responsive handling under load, and all the braze-ons you could want, from rack mounts to water bottle cage bosses to spare spoke holders.  And the componentry includes:  a Cane Creek 40, 1-1/8˝ threadless black headset;  a Shimano UN-55 square taper interface; a 68 x 118mm bottom bracket;  a Shimano Sora FD-3403 silver front derailleur and Shimano XT RD-M771 rear derailleur; an Andel RSC6, 26/36/48t. square taper interface crankset, and; a Shimano HG-50, 11/12/14/16/18/21/24/28 /32t cassette.  Finally, and with all due respect to Surly’s limited factory available colors of Super Dark Green or Blacktacular, the color of this bike has also been upgraded to custom powder-coated Hi-Vis Neon Yellow.  Combined with matching Deda bar tape and Hi-Vis yellow Ortlieb waterproof front and back panniers, the bike will be almost impossible not to see when I’m out touring.

And going on occasional long-distance bike tours is something I’m looking forward to doing after I retire.  I’ve already planned and mapped out a few different bike tours I will be doing.  One is a tour of the lighthouses of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which would involve riding from north to south down the coast, and then looping back around on the mainland and ending up back at the northern-most lighthouse again.  I also will being doing a tour of the Great Alleghany Passage and C&O Canal Towpath, a 336-mile route without any cars or motor vehicles that connects Pittsburgh with D.C.  Along the way it also allows riders to take in a number of small historic towns, state parks and other attractions along the way.  A bike tour along the lower coast of Florida on down to Key West is also on my list.

While there are plenty of other bike tours I would also like to do here in the United States, I would also like to do a bike tour across Northern Spain.  The route there is called El Camino de Santiago.  Also referred to in English as The Way of Saint James, it is a network of spiritual pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Greater in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.

It’s been a long journey to get to the point of being eligible to retire.  And I look forward to more journeys in the future.

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Another Anniversary

Posted: February 6, 2017 in Events
Tags: , , ,

toureasyathome01

Today this blog is three years old.  And on this anniversary of when I began writing about the daily bike rides I take during my lunch breaks at work, I find myself still having as much fun as I did when I started.  In fact, I’m having as much fun as when I was a kid riding my first bike, which was a bright green Schwinn Stingray coaster bike with a vinyl banana seat, U-shaped handle bars, a medium height sissy bar, chrome fenders and white-wall tires.  The bikes I ride now are different than the one I rode then.  And so am I.  But the enjoyment is still the same.

My original goal when I began this blog was to try to find and write about at least 365 different monuments, statues, memorials, and other places and events in D.C. that I think are interesting.  I thought that number would make it a compilation of one year’s worth of daily attractions for people to visit in the D.C. area.  But the D.C. area has so much to offer that even after I reached my goal I continued riding and writing.  As of today there are blog posts about 441 bike rides to different places.

And there is no end in sight.  There are literally hundreds of more monuments, memorials, statues, places or events that I have either already visited and not yet written about, or have identified and am planning to visit in the future.  In fact, I already know of more places I still want to ride to than the number I have already written about.  So I should be able to keep writing for the foreseeable future.  I just hope to be able to go to all of them before I retire, because I am eligible in only 571 days.