Several days ago, I started to realize the futility of trying to do everything. I wrote a somewhat unbalanced post that I’ll probably never make public. I was dreading my upcoming rides instead of tingling with anticipation.

So, I’m postponing my 51st birthday. I’m not going to try to finish the remaining 23 states in the next two months. I’m not doing the Gulf Coast Interstate as a soloist, but as part of a two-woman relay team. Instead of spending March and April rushing to ride frozen chunks of midwestern tundra on my own, I’m going to wait until summer and join some organized charity rides. I’ll probably finish shortly after Labor Day.

On the one hand, I feel as if I’m failing at my goal.

On the other hand, sacrificing an arbitrary goal (or really, just moving the goal posts) in the interest of all the things that make it possible (my partner, my pets, my home, my students) – all the things that will still be the most important things in my life after I’ve ridden in all 50 states – is so clearly the right choice.

It has nothing to do with not wanting to ride a bike in the snow. (I feel certain that I’m going to be doing that anyway.)

So… Please tell me about your favorite charity rides in these fifteen states:

Illinois (FYI, I’m leaning toward the inaugural Midwest Climate Ride)
Iowa (I really DON’T want to do RAGBRAI)
Michigan (see Midwest Climate Ride above)
Minnesota (leaning toward the Fargo Tour de Cure, which has 50 miles in Moorhead)
North Carolina (something near my April 12 ride in Tennessee would be lovely)
North Dakota (see Minnesota notes above)
Ohio (thinking of sneaking this in around the Death March)
Oklahoma (someone have a nice Friday group ride in Tulsa March 28?)
Pennsylvania (thinking about hitting the GAP trail in early March)
South Dakota (I want to ride by Mount Rushmore)
West Virginia (any great trails for when I hit the GAP trail?)