The last time we flipped a decade, folks were stocked up on canned goods and paying out the ass to have source code updated. What’d ya mean this thing can’t count past 99? 1900 and 2000 are the same, eh? Awesome. Bring on Y2K. It came and went and we’re still here.
Then nine became ten. People thought it meant something. Decades always mean something, I guess. They define generations. They define pop culture. Art. Music. Politics. Just what it is, I’ve not been able to sort out. Yet, anyway. I guess it’s as good as a time as any for some people to look back and reflect. Myself included. Laugh. Cry. Bitch. Moan. Ten years is a big deal, right?
To some, anyway. To others the whole thing was little more than a blur, the weekend and the decade. Micro and macro-blurs. Hell, go for the twofer. When opportunity knocks, right?
That all aside, it was quite a Decade.
Looking back, from this lofty perch at the kitchen table, laundry strewn about, girls upstairs napping, there sure was a lot to it. It was a good decade on balance. Celebrated ten years of marriage last year. My wife and I had two daughters. My wife, always the leader, went through law school first. And, now, at the tail end of the decade, I am following in her footsteps. I rode bicycles a whole lot over the last ten years. All over the place. Hit up a lot of fun events. Met quite a few interesting people. Got it out of my system, pretty much. Had the rest nailed out by a car. Now it’s all pretty much out of my system.
Waking up the hospital is not something I’d recommend. I don’t care how bored you are with your existence. You don’t need it. So, that happened. Then I saw a guy go to jail for hurting me. Still recovering from the whole process, really. It has taken years from me. The cool kids in flagstaff make stickers. They read “drunkcyclist is neither”. Because I don’t ride bikes like I used to (because I can’t ride bikes like I used to), I don’t write stories about bikes like I used to. So, I’m not a cyclist like I used to be. Awesome.
I’m half way done with law school. Arguably half way done with life as well. I’ll be 40 this spring. I’ll make it to 80 if I’m lucky. Not trying to get too morbid on ya, just calling it like I see it. My mid-life crisis seems to have been defined by two events – getting hit by a car and then enrolling in law school.
Strange to write it out, as I sit here thinking of it all, I almost can’t believe it has all occurred. It has been one hell of a good ride so far. I’d say I’ve been blessed, but it sounds strange coming from an Atheist. I’ve led a charmed life. The rest of it ought to be grand.
Looking outward, rather than inward, cycling brought us complete and utter dominance by Lance Armstrong. In the Tour de France and otherwise. He single handedly pumped up the volume on North American cycling. Bike sales were up, the visibility of racing increased. Positives all around. Some really great Tours in there, too. Not so much action from some as others, of course. Kind of had a feeling of inevitability, watching Armstrong control all comers. It felt a lot like the glory years of Michael Jordan. He was another athlete who transcended his sport and became a household name in the United States.
Other names come to mind; men like Contador, Cavendish, McEwen, Hushovd, Freire, Voigt, and Schleck lit it up across France. Low moments include such names as Rasmussen and Landis. They’ll be remembered for other reasons.
Looking back, the Giro was a much more exciting race than the Tour, at least for me. It was wide open a few of those years. Names like Petacchi, Di Luca, Simoni, Cunego, Savoldelli and Menchov come to mind.
The Spring Classics were, as usual, off the hook. Names like Boonen, Van Petegem, Ballan, Devolder, and Cancellara. Many more too, I’m sure I’ve missed a dozen or so. At least than many.
Looking back, surveying the landscape of what has passed, I can only say that the last ten have been great. I can’t wait to see what happens over the next ten.by