Thursday, December 27, 2007

ice cream head ache

The amount of cheese cake I devoured over Christmas warranted this ride. Outside my window freezing rain. Inside, not even the dogs would rise from their dog dreams or their comfortable beds. When the phone rang I could only hope to hear a fellow rider on the other end...Was it the motivation I needed or someone to share in the winter suffering? The caller was my die hard friend Skip and he felt the same way. "I need a clp hours on the road". Sweet.
Beggars for a ride, soon to be beggars for warmth and hot cocoa. We lasted two hours and got soaked to the bone. Skip beat me up good. A month off hurts real bad.
A less-traveled road heavily frost-heaved and covered with slush served as the turn toward home. 23mm road tires were not going to cut the mustard, or the slush. At an exact moment the road turned to glaze ice and Skip demonstrated his ability to fall and tumble with the best of them. Me being the good friend, held my line and politely asked if he could get out of my trajectory as I couldn't stop and was heading right at his left arm. That's compassion huh? Thanks for the ride Skip, u da man.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

snow rake

I found a great upper body workout that can be done around the house...literally. All you need is a sh*t ton of snow on your roof and a snow rake. Cranking the tunes also helps.
I was going to go for an xc ski or road ride but my house was letting out alarmingly loud cracking noises that I needed to investigate. Maybe the old saying "they don't build'em like they use to" applies in our case. We love our ranch house but it maybe a tad under built by today's standards.
Heavey rains coming later today it was probably a good thing to scrape off a ton of snow and get rid of the ice damns that were forming.
Does a person own the house or does the house own the person.. hey at least I got a workout!

Friday, December 21, 2007

snow roomba!

As a life long New Englander this doesn't happen every year...we're getting walloped with snow so far this winter...14 inches and mounting, and that is just counting what is presently in my front yard. Hope it keeps up. Skiing is going well. I've adapted my nite rider HID to work with out a helmet and have been blazing through the darkness regularly in a near by patch of woods after work. Not nearly as fun as biking in the same woods but hey what can you do... enjoy the off season right!
I would like Santa to bring me a hybrid form of snow blower if it's not too much trouble. Can your elves combine the Roomba robot vaccuum and a snow blower? This way I can be out skiing or down at the local pub and not have to worry about cleaning out a space to park. Thanks soo much.+

I'd ask for a pair of 29 inch Gazzi extreme studded tires for my single speed but see that they are still on back order... oh well. The snow-roomba will do.

It is bitter sweet having all this damn snow in the woods. great snow sports but zero biking. I am anxious to try out my new fixed gear set up on the SS...can't even get out on the road, there's so much powder on top of ice the sidewalks haven't been cleared in a week.

As soon as the trails are passable I'd like to organize a BCT (bay circuit trails) ride from Ipswich to Andover and back for anyone who'd like to go. Taking in to consideration that this may not be until April by the rate the snow is falling here.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 15, 2007

where the lyrics live

Boston was blanketed with six to ten inches of white fluffy snow. the kind you don't mind shoveling, it's not the usual back-breaking experience. Light and fluffy. Not the snow balls kind, and you couldn't make a snowman with the stuff if your life depended on it. Just good dry powder. No base. You'll cut right thru to dirt on the local ski hills so bring your early season board if staying local...but why would you do that.
Christopher called and asked if I knew how to ski...cross country. And I don't, but should, I replied.
Five years ago when Lesli and I bought our house from an elderly couple moving in with their son, they left behind many things they would never again use, like a snow blower and a set of cross country skis. My one attempt to use the skis two years ago didn't go well. Now it was time to try again and learn something new.
"It's like shuffling your feet down the school hall" Chris said. So we shuffled and I moved awkwardly for an hour and that led to another hour of less awkward movement. Then Les and I went out again yesterday, she on her snow shoes and I on Ben's skis. The waxless skis with the price tag still on them. $99 at MVP...almost like he was going to bring them back after the season for his money back. That was Ben. Thank you Ben. He was the elderly man I bought my house from.
So yesterday's less-awkward movement will lead into today's shuffling around the halls of the woods in perfect powder. I've now made a track in the woods and my technique is coming along. It's funny when learning a new sport or learning anything... Learning is a matter of a style, balance and effortless motion that needs to be learned, then honed to look as if it were instinctual.
When I learned to snowboard a long time ago, I took a flogging of epic proportions. The act of directing a plank of wood to the bottom of a hill with grace was painful. And also frustrating. A few friends were learning at the same time, back in 93 or 94. Brad and Allyson on Wha, o-Wachusett mountain on New Years Eve. They could go top to bottom, and top again and also lap me. This was my fourth attempt in two years at snowboarding, and then I got it. I felt like I was granted a super power. I could link three turns while strapped to a plank of wood! I earned my super power with many a bruised hip and swelled elbow and this technique was now mine. I owned it. To be permanently stored in my memory banks next to an untold number of song lyrics that I never wanted to learn in the first place. Funny how that works.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Weekend warrior land

A big shout out to dear old Dad for the video cam. I break them as fast as I fill the memory with images of debauchery. I'll try to take care of this one :) Thanks.


video

Friday, December 07, 2007

sidelined

enjoy the time off?
but already miss it.
beat up and sick,
Costa Rica you bitch.
So, begins the off season I guess.
Enter weekend warrior land.
I like weekend warrior land.
Away from the daily commute,
Away from the head wind on marsh road.
Away is a way to make a will stronger.
But the legs don't agree.

Monday, December 03, 2007

My back in Lynn

Met George and Jambalaya at the ball field lot early Saturday to visit Lynn woods and some old school trails, and a few new ones, for a mini-epic tour of George's manicured stash. I had built my dually back for the occasion remembering the beating I got here with my hard tail.. With the aggressive rock and boulder strewn lines of Lynn you're better off with as much travel as you can bring...unless of course you're a super skilled trials rider..
Cold and super windy, I had a large backpack with extra clothes and lots of food for myself and Gus. Knowing George's style of packing everything one could possibly need I didn't want to forget anything, so my pack was pretty heavy, as was George's.
We started out on the Hike, a few changes have been made to the trail since the old school days of DM, KD,JH,GA,MD,BB,AG,AP and others. My gears were totally sucking my will to try anything that required stomping force. I had mistakenly installed a used cassette and a new chain, George quickly nicknamed me "skip". Otherwise I was enjoying the cheat factor of six inches of travel front and rear.
We banged and smashed our way over to Balanced Boulder and I needed to stretch my back...but it didn't help. Call me a nancy boy (thanks for that one Barry) but I couldn't handle 4 hours in Lynn with out getting beat down. Yeah, I can cross Costa Rica on a single speed but I couldn't pedal 10 miles in four hours (in four hours...you do the math) with out sheer agony.
I think because I haven't done a single sit up or stretched my back or legs in two solid weeks, but now feel like some has inserted thumb tacks in my lower back.
Might have to see a professional for repair. Four hot baths and lots of vitamin I, nor beer therapy have helped.
Thanks for the ride G. Gus really enjoyed himself.

trail trip

Bust out the balaclava, winter shoes and tights
cover that skin cause the arctic wind bytes.
Weekend rides start early, as do the nights.
It's fun to ride with folks who aren't afraid of heights.
Hide in the comfort of familiar beaten tracks,
carpeted with camouflage, but you can't hold back!
these are your friends but you start an attack,
flying up leaf covered hills in a blistering pack.
Adrenalin levels heightened in an oxygen deprived head,
whirling the pedals, wide open, full speed ahead!
On a blistering pace my chassis glows infrared.
flames now lap my heels, the steel radiating a deep cherry red.
Grab a hand full of brake but the pads dissolve to a gas,
hot embers streak from my hurtling mass,
I try to avoid hitting trees and the tall grass
and my bike now ablaze like liquefied natural gas.
I reach for my camel back hose and can only hope that it isn't froze.
I extend, aim, and pinch and alas it isn't froze and it goes and flows,
and the red red glows of my incredibly weird woes
have spared my life but burned my toes.