Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First Snow

OK, so it was barely a dusting - but still the post title is technically correct in a kind of sneaky lawyer way.

I rode down into this valley because the drifts up top were just getting too deep.

Well we did get some snow so it's not total bullshit.  Kinda gets you thinking about what it means for it to snow.  If I lived in Equatorial Guinea I'm pretty sure that even a dusting would be insane.  But in northern Wisconsin it is probably something like 95% bullshit.  

All this talk of snow falling where you kinda don't expect it reminds me of this: the picture of my brother skiing at his house in Atlanta, GA a few years back.  His neighbors thought he was crazy.

Well, I went for a ride the other day.  Most of the riding I've been doing lately has been on ATV trails.  There's deep sand on parts of them.  And plus most of the ATV trails around here will be snowmobile trails this winter - so I'll be a little less likely to get lost.  But maybe that's just part of the adventure.  

Even around here I'm known in some circles as "that crazy biker guy."  And I don't mind that.  There's really no point to trying to deny it.  Roll with the punches.

Speaking of the words "crazy" and "roll with the punches" gives you boxing.  You think riding 135 miles is nuts then try getting in a ring and try to punch another guy so hard and/or so often that he can't stand or even get up.  All while he's doing the same to you.  Yee haw!

Speaking of cyclocross (which, of course, nobody was) here's a video of the start of a race.  I must say that I'm by and large solidly mediocre at racing my bike.  I have done exactly one cyclocross race where I finished just before being lapped.  Like I said I'm kinda bad at most anybike racing I do but short, intense races (like a cyclocross race) are worse.  Although I almost never do all that well, the longer the race the better the chances that I'll suck less.  Don't get me wrong, cyclocross is really cool.  But in my book races like Arrowhead and the Iditarod Trail Invitational and White Mountains 100 and Yukon Arctic Ultra take the cake. Personal preference. 

The moral of the story told by the elevation profile of the race is:  you will be smitten.  Or smote.  One of the two.  Well for me during the '09 race I was unquestionable smote.  Especially in segment 2 (between Gateway and Melgeorges, a section that seemed to go on and on and on until I finally pulled in to Melgeorge's at a little after 4 am [or 11:30 after I left Gateway - I don't wanna do the math to figure out my average speed]), segment 4 was pretty bad too.  This was back in the  good ol' days that checkpoint 3 was the Tipi of Despair and was set on the top of the exposed Wakemup Hill and didn't even have water (the good ol' days kinda sucked).  I had carelessly let my Camelbak hose freeze up and had no water in those last 25 miles.  I ate snow.  It was an interesting experience.  Anyway, once the race was over and once I had quenched my thirst, hunger, and need for sleep, as I thought back on the race I became more and more smitten.  Not quite ready to actually race it again, I went back in '10 to photograph the race (see the pics I took) and was smitten the rest of the way again.  I went back in '11 (when I started this blog.  The blog covers training as well as the race but you read part 1 and hopefully after reading that you'll want to read part 2)(by the way, if you want to read what I wrote about the '09 race, click here.)   Perhaps what caused me to be smitten was being out there taking pictures like this:

I was almost drooling I was so jealous of the guys/gals in the race.  I wanted to be doing it so bad.  Snow conditions were nice and hard, temps were about perfect (I can't remember exactly but it was something like -5 at this point).  Oh, in case you're wondering, this is the leaders about a mile after crossing Hwy 53 maybe 19 miles into the race.

Now I'm definitely smitten.  But don't ask me if  I'm smitten or smote this year until after I've had a meal and have slept at the finish (assuming I make it that far).

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