Monday, December 19, 2022

Friends and bikes and snow

Last week was finals week at Penn State. The impending snowstorm caused my last final to be moved online, so I drove home to Pittsburgh a day early to beat the storm. With finals out of the way, it was on to bigger and better things. Namely: a weekend full of riding bikes with friends.

For Saturday, I talked to my friend Simon and we got a group together for a big suffer fest on gravel roads out near his house. The route was about 66 miles with nearly 9,000 feet of climbing, including plenty of gravel, mud, closed roads, powerline cuts, and steep climbs. Exactly my kind of stuff. Plus, a few of us were extra stupid and we took our singlespeeds on the ride. My bike was my Salsa Stormchaser with 38x19 gearing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Great Divide Chapter 8: The End

Sometimes it takes being at the end of something to truly appreciate it. When you're in the moment, it's pretty hard to see the forest for the trees. I think the first time we actually looked back at the trip was in the community center in Hachita, because even though we were still 45 miles from the finish, we knew we had made it. I always sort of hesitated to imagine being done, because I thought if I did, a bike would break or something would happen that would prevent us from finishing. But like I said, in Hachita, I let myself think about the finish. I couldn't possibly be more grateful to have Will as a friend to do this with. I'll save the rest of my ramblings for another post, but even just writing about this really makes me appreciate how fortunate I am. Bikes are fun, y'all.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Great Divide Chapter 7: Cuba to Silver City New Mexico

The Great Divide threw us a few curveballs in this stretch. For one, I got giardia. We also hit tremendously terrible mud just south of Cuba, New Mexico. But, looking back at it, those are the things that add color to the trip. Nothing that takes over six weeks - like our trip did - is going to be all sunshine and rainbows. And I wouldn't want it to be. Anyways, here's a recap of how our trip went. There's gonna be one last chapter and then I'll make a more general, broader overview post. I'll include one of my favorite pictures of the stretch here before I dive into the daily recaps, partly because it's a cool picture and partly because it'll be a good thumbnail picture for Blogger.

The flash flood creek that we couldn't cross

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

I don't regret many things; in fact, I think it's pretty dumb to have regrets. After all, you can't do anything about it, so thinking about it just seems pointless. But still, here I am finishing my undergraduate in science and knowing full-well I still need to get either a teaching certificate or a masters in teaching to actually start my career as a high school teacher.

I remember sitting in my freshman year engineering seminar and hating every second of it.

"It will get better, it's just one bad professor".

"Engineers can do lots of different jobs".

Those are the things I was told (and believed), and it's why I stayed an engineering major until it was too late to reasonably switch to education. 

All that said, I'm pretty happy with the way things have turned out. I wouldn't trade the Great Divide trip I did with Will this past summer for anything. The circuitous path I'm taking to a high school teaching job has taught me exactly what I do and do not want. So no, I don't regret starting out in engineering, because if changing that means changing anything else I've done, I wouldn't do it.

The Colorado Rocky Mountains from Quandary Peak this past July