It was 23 years ago yesterday that I started my current job. Did I think I would be here this long? Who knows? I may have thought that about other jobs that didn’t last that long.

But the time has come today. Cycle America 2022, possibly the last iteration of this great coast-to-coast ride, starts in 9½ weeks. At my age, it’s time to start training in earnest. Training takes time, and is not compatible with working 40 hours/week (says the guy who did just that 4 years ago and is doing it again right now).

So today I tell the world (or at least the tiny corner of the world that reads this blog), that I am retiring. And on Father’s Day (also Juneteenth) I will once again (in a time-honored ritual) dip my rear tire into the Pacific Ocean and embark on a 9 week adventure, riding more than 4000 miles to dip my front tire into the Atlantic Ocean. In my own ritual, I will scoop up a vial of the Pacific, seal it with wax, and break the seal 9 weeks later to merge it with the Atlantic.

I did this 4 years ago, thinking it was a once in a lifetime thing. Little did I know. I will be 70 soon. If I live to beat Robert Marchand‘s age group Hour Record, I’ll have to stick around for a long time – longer than I spent at this job. I’ll probably have to start working again to be able to afford to live that long. But right now, I’m done with working.

I invite you to follow me (again, if you followed me four years ago). I plan to return to daily posts. Or maybe there will be days that I just want to go out for a post-ride beer and skip a day. I can do what I want. I’m retired. (That sounds weird.) While the route will be the same, the experience won’t be. You can read each post and, if you have time on your hands, go back and read the same day’s post from four years ago. The dates won’t match, but the days of the week will. In 2018 we started on Sunday, June 17. This time we’ll start on Sunday, June 19. You can probably figure out the math from there.

The WordPress algorithm provides links to two other posts each day that it thinks are thematically related. Yesterday’s post linked to this. Rereading it, I don’t know how anyone could think I’d still be working come June. It foreshadowed this announcement just a bit.

While I believe in retiring early and often, this was the longest I have ever been at one job. That’s why my leaving gets two posts. I wrote them at different times, not realizing when I wrote the second that I’d already done this once. There will probably be a third on my last day. Maybe the fact that I wrote two different posts to say the same thing in different ways is a sign that I’m getting old.

Let’s do the time warp again!

It was 23 years ago today that I started this job. Seems like a fitting time for an announcement.

It was about 3.5 years ago that I wrote the FAQ page for this blog. It is time for some amendments.

1) Are you going to do this again?
A: What, do you think I’m crazy? I always considered this a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Several people I traveled with have done it more than once and some are planning to do it again, so I guess it’s a reasonable question – just not of me. I’d consider a trip down the Mississippi, or in the mountains of Spain, France, or Italy; or maybe parts of this one (like Needles Highway). I don’t expect to cross the entire continent again.
Then again, I thought the Death Ride was crazy when I first heard about it. I still think Double Centuries are crazy.

Addendum April 12, 2022: Yes, I am going to do this again. On Father’s Day I will once again leave Seattle on my bike, planning to arrive in Gloucester, MA on Saturday August 20. Notice that, while I pooh-poohed the idea, I left myself an out. I guess I know myself after all these years of hanging out with me.

3) When are you going to retire?
A: I can’t answer that.

Addendum April 12, 2022: I will be retiring on Saturday, June 4. I’ll spend the next week riding every day, then a week winding down and packing up before flying to Seattle.

So I’m going back in time 4 years to ride across the USA (and a bit of Canada, if they’ll let us in by then). While it seemed nuts 3.5 years ago, it seems only fitting today. The genesis of this trip was in 1970 when I schemed to ride across the country on a BMW touring motorcycle. About 5 years later that BMW turned into a bicycle. In 1985 my neighbor tried to get me to take a leave of absence from my job to join him on a cross-country trip. He was celebrating law school graduation. I wanted to keep my job and knew my boss (his mom) would never approve a leave. In 2008 the plan to do the trip in 2018 was hatched. In 2018 I finally made the trip.

When Greg (the owner of Cycle America) announced that the 2020 coast-to-coast trip would be the last, I decided to take a couple of days off and meet the riders in Baraboo, WI with beer, and ride with them the next day. When the 2020 ride fell victim to COVID-19, Greg announced a 2022 ride. The wheels started turning. I found myself thinking about the ride more and more on my own solo rides that year. When I got hurt at work, had surgery, and came out of it in more pain than I went in, I started to wonder if I could ever do something like that again. When I realized I could, I decided I would. I have been counting down the months. With 18 months to go I started a draft of this post.

Some may think that was putting the cart before the horse. Here I was penning an announcement to you before I began the announcement to my boss. But on April 1, 23 years after I received my job offer, I let my boss know I’m retiring. Today (April 12) I announced my retirement to my co-workers. You’re next. Sorry, that’s the way the world works.

If the ride was worth waiting 48 years for, I decided it was worth doing twice. So join me again. I’ll be back to writing daily posts. You can jump back and forth in time to see how the same routes turn out on the same days 4 years apart.