Apologies to those with whom the bike ride never panned out | VailDaily.com

Apologies to those with whom the bike ride never panned out

Shauna Farnell

I’m trying not to characterize my departure from the Vail Daily and the Eagle Valley as one not filled with regrets. But as I type my last column for said newspaper and look around my house trying to figure out how I’m going to simultaneously pack three pairs of skis, a snowboard, three pairs of snowshoes, hockey skates, lacrosse sticks and three bikes into my car, I can’t help but feel I could have taken advantage of more opportunities offered by the valley lifestyle and my position here.There are so many people with whom I never went on bike rides, many powder stashes that never came to fruition and all kinds of fine-dining restaurants I only constantly heard about but never tried. Then there are the adventure races I never did, cliffs off of which I could never be talked into jumping (or hucking), the “features” my bike tires never experienced and the exotic end of raw fish my palate will likely only wonder about for the rest of its life.On Aug. 1, I start a new job with Ski Racing Magazine in Boulder. As excited as I am to fill my winters with the excitement of World Cup skiing and the occasional trip to Europe to cover the races, I’ll truly miss living within 10 minutes of the United States’ only venue for the men’s alpine events. It’s not that I took it for granted that Beaver Creek and Vail were just a short bus ride away. I’m not a ski-day counter, but I can honestly say I got in some matter of slope time (anything from one run to all day) at least five days a week from start to finish of the ski season.I’m not sure I’ll ever find a job that will offer what this one did. My status as half sports writer, half arts and entertainment writer allowed me to write about almost anything of my choosing that could get one’s heartrate up to just about any abstract endeavor that could be vaguely construed as art.Not to mention my company sending me to Italy to cover the Winter Olympics, constantly having the luxury to see movies for free and write about them, and the rare review of an exquisite restaurant that could be put on an expense report. Then there’s the friends I never made. Even the ones right here in my office – people with whom I never ended up biking to work, have a beer, take a run or get to know beyond the daily round of averting my eyes from the computer screen for a quick hello.This valley is truly a magical place. One where it’s possible to disappear on one’s mountain bike in the summer and not see a paved road again for another 14 hours, a place where a fresh line of snow can be found for any early riser after any storm in the winter, and one which offers 10 times more than most mountain towns in the way of theatrical productions, film series, concerts and great restaurants.The sight of so many expensive homes that are vacant for 300 days of the year has always sort of depressed me, along with the reality of my position of never being able to afford a box to live in within reasonable traveling distance of aforementioned attractions.Still, as I hear about new snowfalls this winter, the only thing that will keep my Missing Out Complex from kicking in is the joy of being able to ride my bike year-round.I’m excited about the new chapter to which I’m about to turn, but I have to say, I’ll be dipping back into the one I’m leaving as often as my schedule allows.It’s been fantastic to be a part of this unbelievably athletic and wonderfully cultured community. Thanks to all of you who have been a part of it.Shauna Farnell’s last day at the Vail Daily was Thursday. Those interested in following her writing or the latest in the ski world can log on to http://www.skiracing.com

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