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Hey Nineteen


To make this late-season update a little more interesting, I decided to do a video update.

The TLDR is this: contrary to expectations, my season ended quite abruptly, but not before a record-shattering 2019. Now, with snow flying in Pittsburgh, I’m mostly transitioning back to the indoor trainer and my virtual Zwift world, amidst daydreams and scheming for 2020.

There won’t be much more to tell before my usual end-of-year summary, but that’ll be a big post, as I hope to do justice to this exceptional year. But for now, here’s a quick audiovisual update:

Rows City

Inna framed by the Columbia River at Vista House

With the end of cycling’s high season, I was free to spend a week with Inna checking out Portland. Not the familiar largest city in Maine, where I lived for eight years, but its namesake, the largest city in the state of Oregon.

Although we’d both visited before, neither of us had experienced much of the city itself. My 2004 visit was based an hour east of Portland, at Timberline Lodge on the slopes of Mt. Hood; and in 2008 my second visit was even farther away in coastal Astoria and Seaside. Inna’s only visit had been for a brief convention. So Portland was a new city to us. But we had pretty high hopes, based on its reputation and several friends’ experiences.

Wed 2 October

Inna framed by the Columbia River at Vista House

Travel day, flying Pittsburgh to Chicago to Portland. Upon ar »more

Dirty Birds

Dirty Dozen rider

Another year, another edition of Pittsburgh’s signature Dirty Dozen ride.

Although I conquered the challenging course in 2017, I wasn’t in physical or mental condition to ride last year; instead I threw my camera bag over my shoulder and played photographer, bagging 350 action shots while driving frantically between the course’s five steepest hills, trying to simultaneously keep pace with seven different groups of riders.

Despite this year's record-smashing cycling season, over the past two months I was plagued by a strained achilles, a lingering cold, plus a week of travel. I didn’t do any of the Dirty Dozen group training rides, and was in no shape to approach those hills on a bike myself. So I spent another day documenting other riders’ suffering and triumphs.

That’s okay tho, bec »more

Too Much Time on My Hands

A while back, I came across an article entitled “These are the bad things about early retirement that no one talks about” (sic).

Although I haven’t (to my knowledge) retired, I have some firsthand experience, having successfully avoided working for 11 of the past 18 years. And I don’t think the article contains any significant revelations.

Let’s look at the author’s five main points about early retirement, before I tell you the meaningful lessons I’ve learned from taking time off.

  1. You will suffer an identity crisis for an unknown period.

    I think this only applies if you largely derive your identity from your employer. In a time when corporations offer zero loyalty to employees, identifying with an ephemeral job is a dangerous, outdated delusion.

    Since I’ve always had a strong sense »more