Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ace Girl Does More Than Bike and Think About Biking and Dream About Biking

Really, I do. (At least this time of the year.)

I am a teacher of music.
I say 'teacher' before 'music' because in reality, I spend 90% or more of my time at school trying to get middle school kids to be responsible for their actions and generally grow into nice people and about 10% actually teaching something relating to music.

This is my alto. And the music beneath it is what I was working on this afternoon instead of riding in the monsoon. I've been playing so much more now that racing's on hiatus. Both classical and jazz. My chops are coming back, and it feels so good.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Reconnecting with Friends

Today I visited Clayton and Heather and got to see their new puppy and kitten. They are all settled into their beautiful new house, and working on making it a home with new family members, Ellen, the kitty, and Hazen, the pup.

Riding just didn't happen today. I went out with friends yesterday for almost 2 hours on crappy roads, but just didn't feel motivated today. The skies were sunny, but when I got up and saw that it was 16 degrees with -2 wind chill and 30+ mph wind gusts, I rolled over and put my head back on the pillow. I worked on a knitting project instead of riding. I will have few days left to skip riding, as I begin formal training soon. I did ride to work every day last week, and hope to do the same this week.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

5260 feet

I was told that crampons are a cure for restless women. Possessing this and other symptoms, I turned to the mountains for relief. Myself and a few friends embarked on a hike up Mt. Lafayette, my favorite peak in the Whites, and one I have ascended several times, but never in the winter!

We couldn't have hoped for a more beautiful day! Parking at the tram lot at Canon Mtn, the thermometer read 14 degrees F. Sunlight glistened off ice crystals, making the fresh snowfall a sparkling blanket under the crystal blue sky. We assembled our gear: crampons, packs, clothes, ice axes, food, and water, then headed for the trailhead.

Immersed in the enrapturing beauty of frozen wildnerness, momentary pauses imposed shocking silence. We could hear our own heatbeats, breath, and no more.

We ascended the Greenleaf Trail, pausing outside the closed hut to put on our crampons and chew a few bites of frozen chocolate. After the hut, the trail dipped through a snow-covered bog and winded up through scrub before opening to snow-covered rock face for the final steep and exposed ascent to the summit. Unsheltered from the brutal wind, we dug our crampons in for traction and shielded our faces to the brutal gusts.
The breathtaking summit view was worth every step. Clear skies provided incredible visibility from what for us, at that moment, was the top of the world. Mount Washington hardly even looked much taller from this distance. (See Charlie with Mt. Washington in the background to his right?) I imagine we could have seen all the way to the ocean were there not so many mountains in the way.

The waxing gibbous moon followed us throughout our hike, another snow white contrast in the sky.

Wow. I am hooked. I enjoyed this hike so much and I can't wait for the upcoming long weekend! I'll get to hike, xc ski, and maybe even snowboard all in the same weekend!! The world is a playground in the winter.

These were our final steps back to the car. The snow guns fired on Canon behind a sign that reminded me of the training that is about to begin...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fundraiser for Mo at Redbones

Has anybody got mo friends than Mo?! It's so easy to rally behind Mo because not only is she incredibly talented (and, I might add, the best technical rider in the elite women's field) but she's also a rock star personality. How excellent that such a genuine person will be representing us across the pond. I wish Mo fast legs and true grit!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Bike Less Ridden

Custom ti IF. One of the first 10 ever made as IF began its foray into titanium. Full old-school XTR. Sexy. Perhaps not quite as hot as TR's tricked out Seven Sola, but oh what a great ride. It fits me, long-legged and short-torsoed and all. And yes, it used to get ridden. A lot, in fact! It loves twisty, rooty, rocky New England singletrack, especially Leominter SF and 'Nam. The bottle cage is there to hold the battery for my lights... aah night riding! My heart is pounding just thinking about it.

The Bike Much Less Ridden...
My singlespeed mountain bike. The trails at Bear Brook, NH, are great for this kind of riding - rolling singletrack. I never perfected the gearing, but I've got 32 x 19 on there, Surly Singulator with a BMX freewheel in back. 2.25 fatty rubber on there. And yes, the bike has been with me Moab... in its previous incarnation, before it lost its gears. That's not a poser sticker on the top tube.