2016: Mixed Emotions

It was a roller coaster year, starting with a lot of intense highs and really positive experiences and events, and ending with some real lows and feeling pretty lost.

Gravel grinding with my parents in Vermont.

Good things:

  • Went to Kenya and Tanzania and met a bunch of inspiring bike organizations, and hosted a women’s bike forum in Kenya which was successful and rad
  • Got a promotion at work to a fancy title with ‘director’ in it
  • Bought a condo
  • Entered a bunch of mountain bike races for the first time. Won some of them. Quit a race: a first for me. Had a lot of fun. Pushed myself. Got to spend a lot of time riding with friends and getting to know mountain biking trails in Massachusetts. Spent a weekend riding at Kingdom Trails.
Strategic Planning meeting with Cycloville in Kenya.
Selfie after winning my first ever mountain bike race, which was during a snow storm.

Not great things:

  • The World. A criminal, racist, misogynist, every other type of bigot President-Elect. I feel like its hard to talk about why 2016 was a tough year without pointing this out.
  • Stopped playing bike polo. I still have a lot of mixed emotions about this. Even if I play again at some point, I’m glad I took a break for a while.
  • Smashed my face and wrist in the Blue Hills, which was not only expensive , but I felt pretty rattled by the concussion for a while and couldn’t ride my bike for a couple months. Still can’t ride on trails.
  • Lost confidence in where I’m going in life and what I’m doing on this planet. I’ve felt really directionless the last few months, which is a scary thing to me because I’ve always been someone with a lot of direction and momentum moving towards something.
Smashed my face. And let me just say, this was a flattering photo of what my face looked like.

And on that note, I look towards 2017 hoping to build on the many good things about 2016, and to both be more comfortable with feeling a little lost, but also hope to feel a little less lost.

Video by LaPulgada of El Sur en Bici, Quito, Ecuador

This last summer I made a video and wrote a blog post about the geography of Quito. I talked a bit about how a mountain in the middle of Quito acts as both a physical and social barrier between the north and the south.  In the past a lot of bike organizing in Quito was concentrated in Northern Quito, but in the last year a new collective called El Sur en Bici (The South by Bike) have been organizing a variety of events around biking. They organize rides, bike polo, and alley-cats always with an eye to being as inclusive across race, gender, age, and class as possible. They are an awesome group doing amazing organizing to help bridge the geographic gap in bike organizing in Quito. This video shows off what they are doing, and how much fun they’re having.