It’s that time of year again…time to wrap gifts, send wishes of happiness and wellness to friends and family, bake Christmas cookies, stuff stockings, sing carols, and enjoy the festivities of Christmas and the New Year. It is also time to read a faithful account of Deborah and Dave’s 2016 Year in Review.
After a 2-year courtship, Dave and I wed in a small, private wedding on January 16, 2016. We were fortunate that the wedding took place in the Mitchell Domes a week before concrete debris fell, forcing the park system to close it for several months.
Honeymoon Bike Ride around Lake Michigan
For the first time in 15 years, I don’t have a new international trip to report – but boy did we bike! Although the clock isn’t done for the year yet, Dave biked an impressive 5000 miles and I managed a cool 3400. Not too shabby for wintry Wisconsin!
Although we wed in January of this year, we postponed our honeymoon until June, so we could load up our bikes and head out on the road. Relevant to the honeymoon story is that I had to patiently wait for my wedding present until April: Dave built me an Ellis Strada Fango as a wedding present, but before I could ride it, it made stops at the Philly Bike Expo in November 2015 followed by a trip to Mountain Flyer magazine in Colorado for a test ride and bike review. (Check out the June 2016 edition of Mountain Flyer magazine for the glowing review! Link) Five months later it landed back in Wisconsin and I rode it for the first time in April at the Dairy Roubaix gravel ride.
- The ride around Lake Michigan is a lovely route – filled with terrific beaches, campgrounds, quaint towns, and lots of lighthouses.
- If you are biking for two weeks, it will eventually rain and probably more than once.
- Packages cannot be overnighted to the U.P. of Michigan. Dave’s bike had a rim failure and we were grounded for three nights in Manistique, waiting for the new wheel. (There is nothing to do in Manistique.)
- The mosquito level at Little Brevort campground was reminiscent of the Boundary Waters at dusk – only it wasn’t dusk!
- Google maps occasionally leads you astray.
In addition to our honeymoon ride, we biked across Wisconsin in a day (179 miles from Dubuque, IA, to Kenosha, WI) and joined Dave’s brother, Steve, for the 7-day Cycle Oregon ride (30,000 feet of climbing). We also biked a record 5 centuries.
Our house purchase came with an unkempt yard. We successfully identified creeping charlie, buckthorn, garlic mustard (we removed 20 bags of the stuff), crab grass, unruly grapevines, and nightshade. Dave rebuilt the wood beds and fence in the vegetable garden and lost no time planting his blueberry bushes and I did my best to eradicate the weeds. The garden fence is tall enough to withstand a deer attack, but alas, has not stopped the rabbits and squirrels.
Other Noteworthy Mentions
- We have a new nephew. We look forward to meeting Ansel Theodore in the future!
- Dave convinced me to try mountain biking this fall and so far I’m surviving the experience.
- We think a skunk is living under our gazebo.
And so, we come to the end of another Year in Review. Wishing you good health and great happiness in the upcoming year.
Signing off from 2016,
Deborah and Dave