During the past six months I've ridden the least since I began almost five years ago. A number of things have caused this. In September 2012, I began writing a weekly column called "Strategic Horizons" for World Politics Review. Since this is moonlighting, I have to do it on weekends, so it fills much of every Sunday. Then during the autumn I had a few lingering health problems. None were major but they did keep me off the bike. Once winter got here we've had month after month of cold, grim weather. We haven't had any huge snowstorms but there have been enough small ones to keep the roads covered in gravel, making all of the fun mountain roads very dangerous to ride. Finally, there's Fritz. He's an absolute sweetheart but very needy and takes up a lot of time.
Because of all of this, all I've been able to do is an occasional hour ride just to make sure I still remember how.
As winter grinds to an end, I'm hoping this will change. I'm already plotting a two day ride through Virginia and West Virginia for late April to try and make up for the two failed attempts I had last year.
View VA WV April 2013 in a larger map
I'm tingling with excitement about this but it remains contingent on weather and my job conditions since like hundreds of thousands of other civil servants, I'm being used as a political plaything by Congress. If I'm furloughed, I'll have to cut my riding back dramatically.