Friday, January 30, 2009

snow

since it's not (bike) riding season, i haven't felt compelled to write in the blog, but the jonsing has begun - the need for ribbons of dirt, long climbs, and technical descents has set into my thoughts, except when out on the snow - it can temporarily quench the need to pedal. luckily, deep (for us east coasters!) untracked lines are plentiful outside the resort boundry if you know where to look - or are willing to explore. i rarely take my hands out of the gloves to snap a shot in the stuff and when a mature grove of trees opens up a few dozen perfect turns, stopping to take a photo is the last thing i'm thinking about! here's a crazy bear-den "breathing hole" mikey-j pointed-out on last wk's woods-woods run:

our main ski bowl is protected black bear habitat, pretty wild to bump into one hibernating... mike's a great companion for these off-piste adventures, always willing to go deeper, and in the scrub pines at elevation, break trail on his tele's for my snowboard; the board's not the best tool for the job in that stuff, but it sure is fun when things open up. we stumbled into a river bed shortly after the below shot, a magical natural halfpipe - the best 2-3 dozen turns i may lay-down all season - or at least until tomorrow morning when we head-out looking for new lines.

and then there are my snow rippin' neighbors! - a bunch of guys of similar age who love to ski/ride - it is sweet having so many passionate outdoorsfolk right out the door!

snow aside, bike time has been decent (barely acceptable) for this time of yr. i ride to work once or twice a week, temperature rarely matters, -10 is about my limit, and after getting-out for a cpl ass-freezing rides like that, 20 degree temps are downright balmy! it's all about the gear. if you can ski/board, you can ride yer bike. indoor trainer time has been in effect, maybe 4-5hrs/wk, just enough spinning to keep the legs going, the muscle memory there. time is tight and by the time i get onto the indoor at 8 or 9p, i just spin easy, watch a movie, try to unwind from the day... saturdays are my "big" ride days - my usual 10, 12, or 15m massive vertical dirt (ice and snow) ride w/the studded tires. around here riding in the winter is a trip, you yearn for the 45+min warming climbs and dread the freezing 5-10min descents. the other day i got home, pulled-off my shell and the entire inside was coated w/a layer of ice. those thin wicking layers really work!

my winter riding gear:
smartwool socks (medium weight).
winter bike shoes - or shoes with good covers.
toe warmers if below zero.
craft or ibex winter riding pants.
a pair of chamois.
one silkweight long sleeve capilene shirt.
one silkweight long-sleeve zip-neck wool shirt.
one long sleeve winter jersey (good wicking one).
single layer shell w/pit zips.
craft head/face cover.
fleece hat.
helmet.
mittens - not gloves - gloves if it's 20-25 or above.

and you're ready for temps down to -10 or so for at least 90mins... riding in the winter is ... better than not riding at all! it's all about the gear. i don't think i bought a single item mentioned above - over the yrs, at xmas, b-day, etc, this stuff has slowly built-up. thanks dad, thanks jenn, i'm finally able to ride in the winter in total comfort. i'm hanging w/seneca this morning while jenn rips-up the powder, but already day-dreaming of this afternoon's snow-ride, but first, i think seneca and i will head-out for some sledding. "weeee daddy!"

2 Comments:

At 2/02/2009 2:12 PM, Blogger Big Bikes said...

Bear Den Breathing Hole = Freakin' Nuts!
That is awesome. Keep posting stuff like this man. It's pretty damn interesting to us folks living in more hospitable areas.

I think I owe you a half hour long rambling voicemail message.

-t

 
At 2/02/2009 4:49 PM, Anonymous VancityAllie said...

People don't realize how important dry underlayers are! Soo soo important. I love my wicking underlayers for snowboarding. Warm, and dry :)

 

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