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Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas 2023

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and there were terrified.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men."

Luke 2:8-13.

Merry Christmas. 

Peace and good will to all. 

Addendum. I love that Linus lets go of his security blanket when telling the Christmas Story.

The Meaning Of Christmas, by Linus.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965).

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Add, Without Subtracting

I am thankful for volunteers, those people who give their time, energy, and talents to serve others. They pour part of themselves into making this broken world a better place for someone else. Seeing that service sparks hope.

I am also thankful for those creating something for the common good. They envision a path toward a new or improved experience for others to share. Seeing that service fosters dreams.

New Flow Trail on M-Hill.

Here in Rapid City, South Dakota, a nascent group of cyclists are creating "flow" trails. This group appears to be passionate, committed, and willing to work to build their version of trails for mountain biking. They also appear to be drawing new and additional people into their activity. Good stuff. 

As I understand, "flow" trails are primarily downhill, with wide, heavily banked, and bermed corners for turning at high speeds and with added features built for jumping. For safety reasons, they are one-way (downhill) and limited to bicyclists. 

Downhill, one-way, cyclist-only trails are not new to Rapid City. Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park actually included such a trail (Dirk's Draw) as part of its original build years ago. It's still there and "flowing."

The new "flow" trail at M-Hill appears to be a new trail purpose built for "flow." That's great. Go with the flow, bro.

Additional "flow" trails may also be in the works for Skyline Park, where the City of Rapid City and volunteers have built miles of single track trails enjoyed by many hikers, runners, and cyclists. Hopefully, the City works around those popular trails when constructing new "flow" trails. 

Existing trail at Raider Park blocked off for construction of a new Flow Trail.

The construction of new "flow" trails at Raider Park raise an issue. There, an existing trail that was built for, and has been enjoyed by, everyone has been blocked off and replaced with a "flow" trail. The old trail appears to be closed to walking and running.

It's one thing to create and build a new trail for a select group of users, who likely have volunteered or contributed significantly to make it happen. That's the add. That's awesome.

It's entirely different to take trails away from everyone else for use only by a specific sub-group. That's subtraction.

For those creating and volunteering to serve others, thank you. When you believe that you are adding to our community, please consider whether your actions also subtract. 

Maybe there's a way to add, without subtracting. 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Change Out of Pajamas

Gandalf the Grey:  I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone.

Bilbo Baggins: I should think so - in these parts! We are plain, quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien (1937). 

Leave the valley. Find a way over that mountain.

In today's world, Bilbo's rejection of adventure might be expressed more often as follows:
When I saw this meme, I thought of Bilbo Baggins and smiled. Probably because Bilbo said out loud what he honestly thought. A good adventure may not feel so good while in the middle of it. When you know that discomfort, or worse, lies ahead, it can be hard to commit. Even harder to start.

And like Gandalf, anyone who creates challenging routes, events, or group rides certainly experiences resistance and flat-out rejection. Those few that express interest often fall aside when reality strikes. Life readily supplies excuses.  It's all too easy to stay in pajamas.

That's all fine and good for a time. But every so often, mindfully change out of pajamas. Embrace the challenge knowing that difficulties are part of the deal. Jump out of your comfort zone. Go for that adventure.

You may surprise yourself. You may even look forward to the next one.

Bursum Road turning to climb Y Canyon to crest a stormy Continental Divide.
Day 47 of my 2021 ride of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.
Adventure certainly awaited on that day. (Three Days Of The Gila).

Sunday, December 3, 2023

A Dad's Expression of Love

In the old comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes," Calvin is a grade school boy and Hobbes is a toy stuffed tiger that comes to life through Calvin's vivid imagination. I always enjoyed the comic, but really connected with Calvin's dad on the rare occasion he appeared. Perhaps not surprisingly, I learned that Calvin's dad is portrayed as a patent attorney who loves to ride his bicycle. 

One day, over 25 years ago, I received in the mail an envelope from my dad. No letter or note of any kind rested inside. Rather, a single, folded clipping from the Sunday comics of a local newspaper revealed the above Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Dad read it one Sunday morning, thought of me, and simply dropped it in the mail.

Dad didn't know that I loved Calvin and Hobbes and he certainly did not know that Calvin's dad was a patent attorney. He just thought of me with my cycling adventures and my challenging career. And he wanted me to know that.

Dad's actions always spoke louder than his words. I think this mailing was Dad's way of expressing his understanding and appreciation of my journey, even though it differed substantially from his own. 

But I don't know. Maybe he just thought it was funny.

Clifford G. Groseth, at age 88 in 2022.

Dad passed away on November 30, 2022. Much has changed, within and without our family, over this past year. He would have loved to have been a part of all of it. And his presence would have filled every family situation. In many ways, it still does. 

We miss him dearly.

The Obituary I wrote last year is reproduced here. Clifford G. Groseth (1934-2022).

Also, here's a blog post that I wrote as a Father's Day gift to him in 2018. The Best Coach I Ever Had

Clifford G. Groseth, at age 18 in 1952.