Let's face it, being in one place for too long can cause a creative person to stagnate. Once routines become stale, it's time to move on. Anne Galyean and I had been on the East Coast for close to a decade. While Anne was finishing up her Ph.D. at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) in Gaithersburg, Maryland and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we resided in Frederick, Maryland. We chose Frederick for its proximity to a great trail system and friends we had made after years in the East Coast DH scene. Frederick is home to the rockiest, most technically challenging riding on the east coast. As Anne was coming close to wrapping up her nine years of college (yikes), it was time to think about our next steps. Anne is originally from Idaho, and while I was born in Maine, I spent half my life in Oregon. We knew that we wanted to relocate out West, but we had a few requirements when we were searching for our new home.
First, a postdoctoral position that Anne would feel challenged by; being in a Ph.D. program gives most scientists a very specialized field of expertise, and they can become burnt-out on being hyper-focused on one thing for so many years. The second target was proximity to a major international airport since without that, my job becomes incredibly difficult. Finally, we needed good trails and an Enduro series that Anne could compete in while riding for the SR Suntour/Marin enduro team. After much research on postdocs that fit our goals, Anne chose one at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO.
With that, it was time to slim down our belongings and head west after saying goodbye to our wonderful friends in MD. We wanted everything to fit in a Toyota Rav 4 with a 4x8 trailer and a Mini Cooper S, including our eight bikes. There's something freeing about a mass shedding of things - I suggest everyone try it at least once. After hitting the road and dropping most of our belongings in CO, we continued on to visit our parents, who both reside in Oregon. With a busy World Cup Schedule, I stayed in Europe for much of the summer, while Anne moved us into our new home in Golden and went on racing locally in the Big Mountain Enduro series. Anne took wins at the Scott Enduro Cup Canyons and BME Winter Park events and took 5th overall in the North American Enduro Tour. She also joined her SR Suntour teammates at the Megavalanche in Alpe d'Huez, finishing 7th overall. Here are some of the highlights from our summer.