Pre-dawn patrol

Is it a good idea to trade sleep for training time right now? I have no real loss to conisder. It will pay off in the end and might even add up to more sleep. I can be out on the skis at 5 or 5.30 am and perhaps ride a bit if properly bundled. Skis would be better, slow=warmth=good. Yesterday is on my mind, it was that good.



It was just that dark until the last little bit of skiing. Headlamp guidance and oddly a lot less fearful looks behind me. A bit over 2 hours. No one out there, I mean no one! It was perfect.



I guess the snow is really coarse when it is 2 degrees, the crystals are sharp and require a harder wax. I had an OK wax for the conditions, but the snow was even too hard to get any bite, skied off sort of. Just a miserable effort, kind of like racing cross on a full-cush mtb. Too hard to be considered anything other than work. It was beautiful.


Winter Work

The right gear makes all the difference. Proper cold stuff made the 90 minutes mostly in the dark that much more enjoyable. The stiff headphone cords was one of the few reminders that it was around 10. Too cold for slush and no need for fenders had me out on the rivet, repeats on the safer loops, the blinky keeping me safe from behind. Everything increases exponentially in the cold, the legs feel like I did double the work, the body still slightly stiff, soft touch on the handlebars, studded tire would give that confidence I lack. It all adds up nicely to proper Winter Work.


Hiding in the Dark

The dark is still scary but it's my only option most days. I get the feeling I'm being watched. The skis are great, skins better, up and up for a while, that's the fun part. Down, not so much. Quietly in the trees up one hill and down the next, too fast on the descents, lots of hip checking I wonder if I look edible to whatever it is that's watching me.



Fooling around with cool web stuff instead of doing something constructive. OK. I'll go clean a bike.


Looking through Coke Bottles

I guess the redneck in the pickup with the Bush-Cheney sticker didn't like my cadence as he passed too close with his mirror and gunned it shoot diesel exhaust and slush in my face. I only disliked him for a minute then I got back to enjoying my slushy ride. Arriving at work to dry the clothes made me happier the more I thought about the ride. It just felt right, the saddle, legs, and traction in concert. My hands comfortably draped on the levers as the bike glided over icy bits and into the soft shoulder.



Looking across in the winter and seeing the next hill because the leaves are off the trees is one thing, but to look across the drainage and see the trail linking into the next gulch & I realize I'm riding mostly dry singletrack in January, that's a good winter ride. It's odd leaving feet of snow and slushy roads for this in only 45 minutes.



Waking up early doesn't frustrate me right now the way it does mid season. I know If I were really tired the sleep would come. Afterall the ski I did yesterday wasn't hard, other than the quantity of sweat I produced. It took an afternoon of Nuun to get my pee less-neon. The early thing is cool, the solitude is like a blanket inside the growing envelope. Always looking for new things to listen to and pass the awake time. Thinking about bikes and what I could do to make a certain bike more winter friendly, like a 1 inch cross fork so I could use the studded tire and not slip out and slide under a semi. Or, better shoulders so skiing didn't wreck me so easily. No, I'll go look on eBay for a fork.



I didn't eat nearly enough today. I hate when I do that. It sneaks up on me and makes me crash mid afternoon. Rest days aren't supposed to be like that. Tomorrow is better, it always is. I know where the gaps are and what happens is good.


All Clear

I am getting the Winter motivation thing rolling, sliding and maybe even a little bit of running. All of the puzzle pieces fit nicely. Maybe dirt this week...That would complete the picture. It is getting clearer, a little more daylight to keep the ghosts away, the batteries are in the headlamp. Skis ready, nordic pass in hand, bikes. It all works.


One trick pony

Quietly sliding through cut corduroy, it all feels familiar. The balance comes back, little stumbles remind me I'm not that good. Working on technique almost makes me forget how bad the lungs are burning, and how much my shoulders and neck hurt. The machine is geared for one thing and this isn't it.



Ticking off the days in proper fashion, little bit of easy skiing, some hard stuff too. Skate skis, touring skis, bikes, whatever it takes to get through winter in one piece. Fresh tarmac and dirt can't come soon enough.



I get into funks in the middle of Winter, sometimes they are productive, like multiple 3+ hour ski sessions, Peaks Trail to work and back, or super efforts on the skate skis, other times I get the urge to eat a whole bag of gummy worms, I haven't bought those ever...Odd how getting out of the comfort zone for efforts becomes a visit to the new Area of your head for fuel, I guess all of that gelatin produces something in my brain. Maybe I'll go to the store before I ski today and get some gummys. Or, just stop resting and do something.



The leaks are getting fewer as the work piles up. It's not hard after you start. Starting is the hard part, after that it flows forever.



Old efforts in a new direction. Good steps to start. Good week. Riding, skiing, whatever. Clearing out and dusting off the keys to put in the locks.



The best laid plans end in solo time. Crystal clear head, clogged legs. Or, loaded after. The best part? Pedals.



I made it up and down last night. It wasn't the exact loop I wanted. I took a wrong turn at some point and went uphill an extra 20 minutes, fun descent, tree skiing on super narrow, lightweight gear. As always, the dark freaked me out, not as much as other times but solo trips still scare me a bit. I don't know if I should do more of these to allay the fear or less to lower the odds of getting eaten by a mountain lion. I try to rationalize that this is unlikely...



Good hard Nordic Skiing is equal to about double that time riding a bike, or so certain learned athletes tell me. I’ll take the conservative line on this- 1.5:1 -skiing isn’t that hard. I’ll try that tonight, a 90 minute ski mostly uphill with minimal descending coupled with my fear of the dark and I just might have a full workout. Winter is fun. I hope I don’t get eaten.


Not that cold...

Close your eyes, think about Nordic skiing while standing in a freezer dressed in the wrong clothes, it's that cold, I'm going out b/c it's better than sitting on the trainer.


Nocturnal Mission

Going uphill in the dark is pretty cool, it doesn't take much skill, just point the skis up the skin track and go, easy, right? Sort of. Night time missions are the out of choice when the rest of the day is booked. Quiet, really quiet, that was my favorite part. Look for more of these, Pete has it dialed pretty well.