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January 2009 PDF Print E-mail

     So welcome baby 2009...usher out the old and tired 2008.  Was it a good year?  In spite of all the worrisome headlines, I say yes.  We had a very good financial year...Mike hasn't walked out on me yet...and most importantly, anyone who means anything to me is relatively healthy, and what more can you ask.

     We braved 11 degree temps to hit up Stewart State Forest to welcome the new year riding on close to 4 inches of powder.  In spite of the cold, the ride was awesome, and needed, as I had another opportunity to bond with some very hardy riders whose company I enjoy very much.  There's never a complaint, and good natured bantering is expected, and welcome.  After the ride, we headed over to the shop and BBQ'ed some chicken K-bobs, and pork tenderloin.  Needless to say, it was all washed down with some very fine, and very cold micro brews...good company, good riding, and good luckey can a person be?

     I am starting my 20th year in the bike business, and as in parenthood, I blinked, and it just wizzed past me.  I loved most every minute of both, and only wish I could remember all the best times as well as I remember the really bad times.  I met some great people, and some not so great, but I'll accept both as an educational lesson in life.  Our group has changed a couple of times, and each time there's redeeming moments, and most importantly no regrets.  I have learned mostly, to keep an open mind and occasionally a shut mouth.  Some would disagree on both aspects, but at my age I don't think I really care too much!

     I have some really fine friends that I met through the shop, and have lost some the same way...

     Each new year presents a challenge, and with the way the world is ever evolving, it is not easy to adapt to the difficult times presented.  We are trying to be optimistic, and pro-active in the bike environment, and are always looking for new ways to make this fun and rewarding.  Sometimes, it seems like a thankless journey, but as long as Mike and I are satisfied, I think we're on the right path.

     Lots of great events planned for 2009, and tons of great riding.  In October, I am heading to Moab Utah to do the 24 hours of Moab mountain bike race with 4 other guys....we are entering as a single speed team, and believe it or not, I will be 56 at race time.  The youngest will be 36...what am I thinking???  One more challenge, and one more hurdle...when they close the pine box on me it won't really matter will bring it on, here we come!

     The next two months are pretty slow and allows us time to recharge...bikes get built, new paint applied, stuff rearranged, and lots of early afternoon naps...not so much for Mike but yours truly!

     I wish for everyone who has read these columns, and supported us at Dark Horse great health, and happiness...I don't say this as a shallow cliche' but as a sincere gesture for your well being. 

     I was always a believer in each of us getting our turn at life, and hopefully making the best of it.  There should be no regrets, and no shame in taking our best shot,..As in the past, I will make no resolutins...probably couldn't keep em anyway...I will continue doing what I have been doing since 1989, and hope that it continues to work.

     On that note, I need to get in my PJ's, and settle down for the 24 hour Honeymooner's marathon.  For whatever reason, I feel a true kinship with Ralph Kramden, and have known many,many Nortons in my life.  Always looking to get ahead...always coming up with a sure fire plan...and always loving Alice, and realizing what he's got...That's me to a tee..."What a long strange trip it's been!"

                                                       "Yours in Upstate New York"  George