We’ve been blessed with a wonderful, healthy year filled with travel, kid’s extra-curricular events & fun times with friends, family & our super-talented Ciclismo team. We’ll celebrate a great year with an 8-day trip to San Francisco!
January: Quebec, Hot Yoga & the Craftbury Marathon: Skied over 120 km of beautifully groomed trails of Mt Sainte Anne, did some downhill and enjoyed the sparkling lights & cobblestone streets for New Year’s Eve in Quebec City. Annual Boston Bike Meeting concludes that the city is becoming more bike-friendly! Ciclismo welcomes Davide from Italy for our annual CC retreat. I tackle stiff joints w/ Hot Yoga. Valentina & I complete the Craftsbury Marathon eating & skiing our way along 25KM of fresh track in Northern VT.
February: Skiing Galore, Nana turns 95, Valentina is 3rd in NE! Toasted our 2nd Women’s Ski Day w/ Root Beer & Local Brew. Dinner w/the Hefferon clan to celebrate Nana’s 95th; Go for at least 100 Nana! With Mt Washington as our backdrop, we skied downhill & x-country though 20″ of fresh powder. Glades, terrain parks, moguls, jumps, trails like snow tunnels = 3 cute, cooperative kids filled with chocolate & covered with snow. Got Trolls? At the troll-themed Bill Koche Festival, even the fastest skiers wore big troll Ears & lederhosen. Valentina skied really fast &
finished 3rd in NE; Luca steam rolled the lollipop race and finished 2nd & with big smile!
March: Bikers in DC, Lorenzo turns 12! With my new GREEN Bike Friday, I attend the 9th annual Bike Summit in DC & go to “the hill” with Mass constituents to ask for support for cycling initiatives; final stop is Senator Kennedy’s office where we’re awestruck by famous photographs of his incredible life. At the St. Patty’s Parade in South Boston, ya Gotta love guys with green hair & kilts, loud bands, bagpipes & the cycling Murrays. What does my turning-12 year-old covet? Big Burgers, Newbury comics, hanging out at Harvard Square & an afternoon of fun & games in the Middlesex Fells with his pals. Hardy Elementary School folks gather to enjoy Slushy slopes & icy margarita at the Sunapee Slush Bowl.
April: Pierced Ears & Pancakes for Patriots Day Runners: Valentina goes from agony to ecstasy getting her ears pierced for her 10th B-day, then a mom-daughter manicure & pedicure & lunch at The Town Diner. Patriots Day Weekend is BIG in Boston: Kids run 2.7 miles & I stuff’em w/pancakes before the Arlington Parade. Monday: awake @ 5 AM to see the Lexington Revolutionary First Battle Reenactment at The Fortmanns then to the Boston Marathon to cover Heartbreak Hill w/chalk hearts & cheers. Off to Chicago to see cus’ John & Nina Hefferon & attend SVN conference. Transportation issues launch a culture clash in Arlington where the Mass Ave corridor project, which will make E. Arlington more bike & walk friendly, causes rumbling, resistance & anti cycling sentiment including a flier: Why bike lanes are a bad idea. (
May: Bike to School Victories, Birthday Biking & Frog Catching Galore: After a 6-year “bike to school ban”, Principal D’Amico supports our Bike to School pilot. For Mother’s Day I treat myself to a concert by Cherish the Ladies, an all-women’s Irish band. Big Happy Birthday Dinner for Mauro! For Bike Week, Ciclismo hosted a bike breakfast, led a ride to Concord & I pedaled to Boston for Mayor Menino’s Bike Week Kick Off. Send in the Frogs! Outfitted w/ nets, plastic jars & rubber boots I took Luca frog catching but only managed to catch one little guy we named Luigi. Took a Lilac ride in honor of my Mom’s B-day; she would have turned 75. Everything about May reminds me of her: lilacs, sparkling green fields & the soft wind all whisper her name. Off to the Tyler Place Family resort in VT: 7 days of activities & some of the finest cycling & eating we do all year. I celebrate my b-day cycling, kayaking w/Mauro, bullfrog catching & fishing w/Luca, Valentina & my dad—The grand finale champagne cruise & dinner on the shores of Lake Champlain.
June: Lorenzo the Graduate, Valentina the Fork, A Sad Good-Bye to Susan: With a plethora of activities & a final graduation ceremony, Lorenzo says good-bye to the Hardy Elementary School looking mighty handsome in his blue Hawaiian shirt. I sang in my 2nd Mystic Chorale Concert “It’s Alive”. Valentina blossoms as a Fork in WCT Beauty & The Beast. 90+ kids walked/biked over 1200 miles during the Hardy School’s first Bike/Walk to school month. Rode 100 miles in the B2B (Harpoon Brewery Boston to Harpoon Brewery Vermont) w/managing director Andrew Conway while our super CC team fed over 300 riders at the last water stop. The passing of Susan Herman from pancreatic cancer left us deeply saddened. Her creations as a parent, teacher, leader, volunteer & scholar profoundly inspired so many! I knew her best as cofounder of Interlocken, where I began my life and “career” as a bike tour guide
July: On the Road to Italy, Denmark & Norway: In Copenhagen we biked 27 km along an incredible network of bike lanes & visit Legoland (Luca-heaven!) A wonder for the eyes, the theme park’s 45 million blocks are arranged to resemble famous landmarks, exotic animals, & famous cities. Our Norway excursion starts in Bergen where we take a train to Finse @ 1222 meters. We ride the spectacular Rallarvegen dirt & snow-covered road 20KM downhill to Vatnhalsen. Awestruck by thundering waterfalls & vast views, Lorenzo invents his facebook-famous move called “the funk” (see pictures), an all body thumbs UP to places we love. Toured Sognefiorden Fjord by speeding rib boat then another train to 800m where we biked to Voss. Grand finale: cycling & playing on the magnificently lush & lovely Lofoten Islands where the gulls always sing & the sun never sets. This gorgeous place soars to the top of my favorite biking places. We visit a Viking museum, eat fresh cinnamon rolls, stay in a fisherman’s hut & catch a 10-pound cod near the Maelstrom, the strongest current in the world! We bring July to a warm close in Calabria with snorkeling, feasts and fun with Mauro’s wonderful family
August: PMC Italy rolls again. KHS Reunion. Family Camps & Boys to Men: Our 300-mile PMC journey across Italy ends with 80 miles, 4000 ft climbing, 90 degrees & is fueled by bananas at Bagnoregio Civita, Hot Focaccia at Lago Bolsena, Gelato at Pitigliano, fresh pasta in the Maremma & a seafood feast with super guides Massimo & Marcello. I raise over $8000! Mauro & I dance the night away at my Keene High School Reunion where I’m reminded and reenact my foolish & crazy antics. Family Camps (times two) proves that I am officially an incurable camper: a week at Camp Common Ground in Vermont then to Southern NH for our 8th year w/our favorite folks at Windsor Mountain. Got BOYS? Lorenzo completes a Rites of Passage Weekend with Boys to Men, a mentoring program where positive qualities such as integrity, courage, respect, passion & leadership are modeled by more than 40 adult male staff. He is now a journeyman. We’re proud!
September: Middle School for Lorenzo, Guinea Pigs x three, Missing Mom: After years of my kids begging for a dog, I opted to start with 3 guinea pigs who chirp their way to our hearts. Labor Day ride with Dad & barbecue plus SMORES w/the cute Neutra clan. The 1st day of school in Arlington! Schedules: Check! Lunch stuff stocked: Check! New phone for Lorenzo: Check! Mom checking out? Check! Hoop Dream filmaker & SVN friend Fredrick Marx treat us to a private viewing of “The Journey from Zanskar”, A film by in which he chronicles the passage of a small band of children delivered by two Dalai Lama-dispatched monks. The end of this month marks five years since my mom’s passing. We miss her SO!
October: Life in a Sling, Adventure Travel Summit, Pumpkins and Phantoms in the House. After much procrastination, I have rotator cuff surgery; ice, my sling & my PT Merlin (the magician) are my best friends. Too bad I had to put housework on hold for (at least) a month. The Keene Pumpkin fest w/over 30,000-lit pumpkins filling the streets is a fall highlight. From Keene, Andrew Conway & I head to The Adventure Travel Summit in Quebec where we mingle & learned much from fellow adventure travel folk. For a very special Halloween Treat, we watched Lorenzo star as the detective in Phantom of the Opera at the Watertown Children’s Theatre. We love Halloween: Road trips to Salem Witch Town, decoration, carving & costume craziness. The Big Night: 8 streets, hangin’ with goules on porches & way too much candy.
November: Ciclismo Open House, Stars on Stage, Luca’s 7th Birthday, Sales Rock for Turkey Day: We launch November with a jam-packed Ciclismo Open House & ended the month on Ciclismo High as exceed our sign up goals. Luca & Valentina perform in “Good Man Charlie Brown” at Watertown Children’s Theatre. Valentina stars as Patty with dozens of lines and a couple of solos. Do you have any idea what it’s like living with a STAR? She sings & dances all over the house; she is the reincarnation of my mother, the woman who dreamt of Broadway her whole life. Wish you could see her mom! Luca’s B-day celebration lasts all week and culminates with him doing a Jungle Improv Show at Kidstock.
December: Facebook Reunions & Cool Connections, PMC Boogie. Jingle Visions: The PMC Check Presentation Party was a blast & handed 30,384,000 million to the Dana Farber. 65 costumed riders pedal & sing on the The 13th Annual Jingle Ride. We attract new riders including A Biking Drummer Boy who kept the beat & biked at the same time. By year’s end our Ciclismo Fan Page has reached our goal of 2000 fans & provided our CC team w/a fun and insightful way to better connect & converse with our expanding Ciclismo Community. On a personal note (and for naysayers who don’t “believe”) Facebook has better connected us w/our guests, reunited me w/ many old pals & relatives like the “kids” from my 1984 Interlocken Crossroads tour, my mother’s Italian cousins & new cycling folks around the world. I hear that even Santa is on Facebook these days. It’s been enlightening, fun and interesting following (and chiming into) your lives, ideas, passions & day-to-day rhythms. Thanks for sharing! Thanks for listening. If you’re not already, won’t you be my (facebook) friend?
Have a safe and peaceful holiday & a great New Year. Please Come visit! We always have pasta, bikes and vino on hand!
Mauro, Lauren, Jim, Lorenzo, Valentina and Luca