Those of you who read my blog may have noticed I changed the color scheme from green to black and red. I had changed to green last year to match the colors of the Cannondale Factory Racing team, of which I was a member. Unfortunately the team changed it's format for this year, abandoning the grass roots team as it cut back to only include a few of the top pro racers from around the globe.
Not that I'm terribly upset, I am back racing with the Cannondale Midwest Racing team of which I have been part of, in some fashion or another, since its inception. Of course CMR's team colors are black and red. It also means no more of the free stuff that the factory team provided. But we still get good deals through the CMR team sponsors.
Another benefit of being with CMR is that my race schedule is more flexible. In fact, as of right now I don't have any specific races I plan on doing. For some reason I don't have quite the ambition this year as in years past. I sort of feel like been there, done that.
One thing sort of new with bikes is that I commuted to work by bike this past Friday. I hadn't done that in years. I used the singlespeed bike I built late last year. I now have fenders and a rear rack and also purchased a set of panniers, or saddlebags, that connect to the rack. Using the bags means I don't have to use a backpack or try to strap it down on the rack. The panniers keep the center of gravity lower which helps keep the bike stable. The commute is just under 10 miles and takes 40-43 minutes. It's a little slower in the morning since I am more careful. Time will tell how often I use the bike to get to work.
I am concentrating a lot of my efforts on the formation of the interscholastic racing program that I hope to get up and running soon. I should have more news about that later in the week.
Probably the biggest news of moving on is preparing for eventual retirement. Many of you know that I turned down a chance for early retirement a year and a half ago. I could have had a job about an hour from the grand kids but had second thoughts.
We received a call from Jason about a month ago that a house on St. Michael's property would be coming up for rent and the church thought of us first. Sandy and I talked about it but I am too close to be able to get regular retirement to leave Chrysler now.
We decided that if the house was available at a reasonable price we would see if Sandy could go out now and work for the Mount in exchange for rent and then I would come out after the end of next year once I turn 55. Not an ideal situation short term but it would get us out west.
As it turns out, the rent is pretty high and they wanted the money anyway, not a barter for work. But, they said, the do have a 2 bedroom apartment coming available soon that would be very inexpensive. And they might have some leads for Sandy for employment.
We decided to take a shot and have Sandy go out and stay with the kids for a while before the apartment became free. This would give her a chance to look for and hopefully land a job to have income to support herself until I would be able to move at the end of next year and look for a job and a bigger place to stay. If things don't work out then she would end up moving back to Michigan.
Sandy has given her notice where she currently works and will be taking the train in the middle of April. The train has more baggage allowed but we have to go to Toledo to get the train; no trains in Michigan have the baggage allowance.
While I am not thrilled about the long distance separation it allows a way to check out the job situation and will also give Sandy a chance to spend more time with Jason and Emily and the soon to be three grand kids. In the meantime Greg and I will have to take on all sorts of new responsibilities.