2020 week fifty two

My year in review

Books Read: 31

Kilometres Ran: 2,591

Kilometres Cycled: 2,644

Times hit by a truck cycling: 1


When I started this blog a few years ago the goal was to read 95 books in the year and write weekly here about what I’d read. Since then I’ve read less and written more, until this year. This year my reading goal was 45 books “and other stuff” and I was doing okay until things went sideways back at the beginning of August. I ended up at 31 for the year, and I’m about half way through number 32, which I guess will be 2021 number one. In the past I’ve broken down my reading list and chosen a few highlights. This year I want to focus on just three. I read three books that, in spite of my biases going in, changed the way I think.

I wish that everyone would read these three books. I also know that the people who most need to read these three books probably won’t, or if they do, their brain will shut off while they read them. One can hope, though. Ordered by author.

Photo ordered by aesthetics.

Bikenomics by Elly Blue
All the anti-cycling greatest hits (and obscure favourites) decimated by facts. Whataboutism doesn’t even survive.

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
It is not easy to casually believe you’re not racist only to be forced to confront all the ways that racism is systemic within society and it’s not enough to simply not be racists but you need to be overtly antiracist. And by you I mean me. But there’s hope.

The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
What does “defund the police” actually mean? “Abolish the police” sounds terrifying. Read this and remap your brain. Also, ACAB.

Running (& Cycling)

It was quite the year, hey? Normally my year in review recaps accomplishments and sets goals for the year that follows. I did accomplish a few things this year worth noting. My top three:

I have raced the 5K with Courtney McEwan twice. Both times we finished seconds apart. This time over a minute faster than the first. This Dave Mallari photo is one of my favourite race photos all time.

1. Ran a new fastest 5K in 19:04 at West Van Run in March, then another in 19:02 in a solo time trial for the Mile2Marathon Virtual Race Series in May.

Staring down (hill) my fastest mile (so far).

2. Ran a new fastest Mile in 5:18 and then two days later tried again and ran 5:16 for the June leg of the Mile2Marathon Virtual Race Series. Unofficial, of course. Also, gloriously downhill all the way. Think you can do better? Here’s the Strava segment (hint: you definitely can).

For Halloween, I stitched back together the stinky, bloody (unwashed) jersey paramedics had cut off me, and went for a ride. Bit of a metaphor for 2020.

3. Didn’t die. If you’re new here and want to get caught up start here and just work your way forward.

This blog started as a public diary of sorts for my running (and reading) life, but then a couple people started actually reading along so I added a Subscribe plugin and a bunch of people (bunch is generous) actually subscribed. Feeling obliged helped keep me posting mostly weekly (weakly?) per my self-imposed social contract. Then I went for a bike ride and got hit by a truck. I’ve written about my experience and subsequent recovery trials four times in the twenty weeks since August 3. And I’m sure my lawyer is going to have fits about all four, plus this one. In B.C. you don’t sue the driver, you make a claim against their insurance, and the Insurance Corp of B.C. has a monopoly. And they’re awful (hence the need for a lawyer). They also have a well established propensity to troll the internet looking for reasons to limit or diminish a claim. It’s unlikely they have read this or my other post-crash posts, but it is absolutely certain that they will.

On December 19 – 139 days since I was clobbered cycling the Sea to Sky highway – I ran my first half marathon. It was a very big deal to me, and apparently to a few people who follow me on Instagram, Strava and Twitter. Normally I would have written about it here. I guess I am now. A journalist from Global News asked to do a story. I asked my lawyer all the while already knowing his reply. “No good will come of this,” he said. And he’s right, because Global would have wanted to turn it into a good news story, and it’s not a good news story. People on social media heaped congratulations upon my accomplishment and it felt really great but it was also fucking awful. I went deep to the well on that Saturday morning and came out with a half marathon that was nearly ten minutes slower than it *should have* been. It took me nearly three days to recover. I had a headache for over 48 hours. It sucked, and the whole time I was thinking fuck that guy (I’m so tempted to type his name) and also fuck ICBC who will try to turn this into some sort of win “for rate payers.” Meanwhile, I have gotten addicted to pain meds only to kick the addiction and then come out the other end with the realization that I now have chronic pain. As in all the time. I still can’t reach my armpit with the soap in the shower without (painfully) using the wall for leverage. So, yeah, I’m doing really great (ICBC stopped reading back at “fuck ICBC”).

Hurray for fast fashion. The other kind of fast fashion.

Stephanie and I were talking the other day and she commented that probably the weirdest thing to lose in all of this is this stupid vanity blog and I used to so enjoy writing, and apparently, shockingly, people enjoyed reading. But I’m not allowed to anymore. At least not until the dust settles from 2020, and I’ve been told to expect it’s going to take years. So is this the end of this? I don’t know, to be honest. I could continue writing about reading and running stuff sans anything personal but I’m not sure that’s all that interesting. I haven’t figured that out yet. Wait and see? I guess you could subscribe to see what I come up with (if you’re not a subscriber already). Really zero chance I’m going to spam you. Happy new year, and thanks for all your support so far.