Keith, Skogs and myself at Waterville on January 21. Wet sticky snow, but good cover and still hammered out 40km in less than 3hrs.
What about riding? I avoid road as much as possible these days. Just can't stomach the risk anymore. Local trails alternate between too much snow, ice, mud and then back to snow. Seems like there is never a stable situation where any of the bikes I have will be fun. When the Cape got hammered with more than a foot of snow recently, I thought wonderful, now one of the last resort riding places in New England will be off-line for the rest of the season. But then it got crazy warm and the snow was gone in a few days.
When faced with having to get in the car to ride somewhere and given the choice between riding dirt or snow, dirt wins every time. It is so much more fun to ski snow than ride it. Sure, there are those rare days, maybe only a couple times a winter, where you get white asphalt trail conditions. And there are days where only a fat bike makes sense. That is why I built one up. But too often, winter riding is a luge run of ice or slog fest of slush or powder. On average, I typically go twice as far in the same time with skis on snow than with bike on snow. Isn't fast more fun? Plus I like the workout skiing provides. It is weight bearing and uses all the major muscle groups. The rhythmic movement puts you into a deeper flow state too. More intense endorphin buzz.
This weekend I could drive 90 minutes north and ski on good cover or drive 75 minutes south and ride dry singletrack. Best of both worlds, right? I thought about taking the fat bike up to the Whites and hitting a snowmobile loop, but temps suggested mashed potato conditions were likely. Instead, I hit Duxbury trails just south of Boston and conditions were mint! It is this diversity that makes living in New England such a blessing.
Riding out to Saquish and heading back to Gurnet Light at low tide, January 22. No Duxbury ride is complete without a beach cruise.
Looking north along the long sandbar. Solid one hour time-trial effort can be had by riding out to Saquish and back.
Open fresh water, bone dry trails in January. 40 miles in 3.3hrs. More please.
Of course, conditions are always great for hiking. I feel bad I didn't hike this weekend. Next weekend is an off-Friday weekend for me, so I'll have to hike double on one of the days.
For the last couple years, this poster has been on the wall of the changing room at the Waterville Valley Nordic Center. I didn't know who she was (Therese Johaug, accomplished Norwegian skier) or what it said. Was she taunting me, saying it's really only this big??? My Norwegian friend I skied with Saturday translated it for me below:
What can you actually do in 0.3 seconds?
You have time to sing “Let” in “Let it Be”
You might have time to say “cake” but not “piece of cake”
You don’t have time to yawn
You barely have time smile broadly
You certainly can’t laugh
But 0.3 seconds is more than enough to go from first to third place
I don't have to feel intimidated changing in front of the poster anymore. The coming week looks even murkier for local midweek activities. There will be no snow to ski and trails will be a mess for riding. With any luck, maybe the weekend will come through with best of both worlds again.