It’s the end of the year again. It’s time to look back and see what you accomplished and look forward to see what you want to do in 2014. For me, 2013 was a great year. It brought some new challenges and a lot of fun.
- We got to welcome our new baby boy into the world and that has been a rewarding challenge. That little guy takes a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun to watch him grow and learn. He was born about 3 weeks early and he fit comfortably in my forearm. Now, he has tripled his weight and is about 2 feet long. He is starting to figure out how to crawl and while it may be a little early, I can't wait to teach him how to ride his little Honda 50!
- It was a big year for buying and selling bikes too. We sold Shannon’s Ninja 250 and added three bikes to the stable. We got a Yamaha FJR1300 for two up rides, a Honda CRF50 for the little man, and a Kawasaki KLR 650 for dual sport rides.
- I have spent a lot of my motorcycle riding this year dedicated to learning to ride offroad. Dual sport riding has been both fun and challenging. I have had a few minor injuries, banged up my bike, repaired my bike, done roadside repairs, and seen some of the best views I have ever seen in the mountains! The freedom you experience while riding on a dual sport bike is truly the essence of what motorcycling is all about. Here’s a link to My First Dual Sport Ride.
- I had my first motorcycle wreck at speed. I had a low side in the gravel while I was running about 15-20 mph. I can still see the gravel passing under me as I slid down the road. I learned from my mistakes and I learned first hand the importance of ATGATT.
- I actually started this website in April as an adventure blog. It has grown into a website mostly about motorcycling. I have enjoyed telling my stories, but my favorite part is the conversations that spring up with readers. You guys make this a lot more fun and I appreciate the support. In April when Spirit Strike was started there were 483 pageviews. Thanks to you guys the site has grown steadily and in December we had 17, 471 pageviews! Thank you for reading and coming back for more.
- Shannon took her first ride in the twisties! To this day Too Fast! TOO FAST! TOOO FAAAST! has been the most popular post on Spirit Strike. I am so proud of her for facing her fears and I am thankful that she trusted me enough to allow me to take her on that ride.
- I got to share an adventure with three great friends on the 2nd annual Mancation. It was a three day trip and while some of it was a great ride with very nice views, the parts we all remember the most about that trip was the tough parts. That trip consisted of some of the most adverse and downright dangerous riding conditions any of us have ever been in. We were challenged physically and mentally and we stuck together to get through it. Mancation 2013 was a three day trip, but day 2 was the toughest. Mancation 2013 - Day 2 Mullets and The Sirens of West Virginia.
- I was fortunate enough to tick another box on the bucket list this year too. I got to share the thrill of skydiving for the first time with a great friend. Christine invited me to join her and there really are not words to express that feeling. I think everybody in the world should know the feeling of stepping outside an airplane and just letting go. You can see the video and read the story here Skydiving With Flying Tigers.
So that brings me to next year. I feel like 2013 was a great year, but how can 2014 be even better? I have a few goals in mind.
- I want to keep trying to be a better husband and father.
- I am looking into trying out some moto-camping. I think that would just amp up the adventure and freedom of motorcycling even more.
- I want to line up more sponsored reviews to bring you guys more helpful and technical reviews.
- I want to find some guest writers to bring you guys more ride reports and stories. If you are interested, let’s talk.
- I want to do my first track day in 2014. I will be getting the Yamaha FZ1 ready for that and trying to find a good deal on some leathers.
- I have a VERY long shot of riding the COBDR this year. There is an 80% chance I won't be able to, but I can hope.
- I want to continue to grow the community of adventurers around Spirit Strike. To borrow a phrase from a fellow rider, Ben Rainchild, “I want to ride with all of you!”
I hope to see you out there on the roads and trails this coming year. Post up your pictures and share your stories with us. If you have some good ideas to add to the list for 2014 or if you want to share your own goals, post them in the comments below. I hope you all have a great New Years. Here’s to another year full of great adventures!