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by Ron
Don't Wait Too Long

Biking and fall in Vermont seem to go together. We had done it before and were looking forward to getting back in shape even though the terrain is hilly. For our first ride we picked a short circular route of 14 miles, but to my surprise the first long grade really did me in and we had to quit. Not only was I out of shape, but my stamina was not what it used to be. Thankfully we did another 12 mile route later and managed fine. I finished strong and felt good after doing it. In fact, we did 12 miles more the next day. We have  resolved to keep more physically active, but I am now painfully aware that I can't bike at the same level that I did thirteen years ago.

We love to reminisce about places we have seen and things that we have done and we have concluded that we did a lot of  things in the early years that we couldn't physically do today. It's hard to admit, but I don't think that I could bike fifteen miles up to the top of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park today. Neither could I bike down into Canyonlands National Park on that super steep, rough grade; once down it was a long hot ride to get out of the canyon. We took pleasure in knowing that we did it and marveled at the fantastic scenery. I'm not even sure that I could bike across England, Wales and Ireland like we did twice. Actually there are some other things that I can't do today, but I don't want to talk about that. 

We have had many conversations and email communications with folks considering going full-time. Some can hardly wait to get started, but many tell us that they are delaying their start. Most of their reasons are very good and we understand and respect their decisions. However; none of us know what life holds for us. During the past thirteen years we have lost some full-timer friends through death and several more are now off the road with serious illnesses. Those folks have all had the benefit of enjoying this beautiful country and a wonderful lifestyle. There are no regrets. 

Early retirement found us in good physical condition and ready  for our new adventure, but there was another advantage in starting when we did.  We have had a longer time to really enjoy a carefree lifestyle with the accompanying sense of freedom to travel anywhere at any time. We still do that today but are happy that we have had 13 years to do it.  Being able to take long bike rides and hikes were just frosting on the cake.  We are glad that we started when we did and hope that you don't wait to long. I'll borrow a phrase from the New York lotto advertisement, "Hey, you never know." 

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