Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Feels like I'm in limbo. Cross season is still on for those lucky enough to still be racing. My roadie friends and teammates have of course already been training for asphalt. Me? I'm sitting on the couch eating pie, hoping I don't get fat, and wondering when I'll be "chomping at the bit" to begin training again for road. I feel guilt that I'm not riding, but I don't think that's appropriate motivation on which to base my training plan.

Went cross country skiing at Waterville on Saturday. A hard first ski of the season - 2.5 hours and a good amount of climbing. Sunday I did less. Went on a short snowshoe in the morning, then took some turns on the snowboard at Black Mtn in Jackson, NH. Uninspired by the conditions at the small ski area and feeling it wasn't worth the long, slow chairlift ride in the single digit air, Ward and I left. He and Sven did a big backcountry adventure beginning early Saturday, skinning up Wildcat in tele gear and skiing down the backside on the Wildcat Valley trail down in to Jackson. I wanted to join, but didn't have appropriate gear and I wasn't sure I had the skills. I got lucky and picked up some tele boots on consignment in the bargain basement of the Rugged Mtn shop in North Conway. Now I can tele ski this weekend!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Blauberg in My Dreams

I dreamed last night that I had the chance to head back to Belgium, and of course I went! Then I was back in Blauberg, but was upset that I couldn't stay long, and then I was late for the airport and had forgotten to pack my two bikes, and OH NO: I was going to be late for work.

A BIG part of me wishes I was still there racing. I want to go back, and for longer than 10 days.

I've been thinking about everyone over there still racing, and I hope you're enjoying.
I will probably think about Belgium at least for a little while tomorrow while I'm gliding over the trails at Waterville Valley on my skate skis tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What's a Cyclist to Do These Days??

Sunday was an amazing day for a hike in Franconia Notch! Temps at the summit of Mt. Lafayette rose above freezing with the sun out until clouds finally rolled in mid-afternoon. Bill, Charlie, Gene, Loraine, Ward, and I met at Einstein's bagels up in Concord and carpooled up to the notch, where we parked at the Canon Mtn tram lot and found the Greenleaf trailhead for the Lafaytette ascent. We wisely brought crampons. The snow was hardpack after the warm weather and there was a good amount of ice above treeline. The trail was steep and somewhat challenging (for a cyclist) and well worth every step!

So after 10 months of doing pretty much nothing but cycling, I decided to join some friends in ascending a 5,200 ft peak. I'm young and fit, no problem, right? Ha! Lesson in sport-specificity. It's now Wednesday, and I can still barely walk. I cannot begin to describe the muscle pain in my legs. I can't even cross my legs while sitting because the weight of one leg atop the other hurts too badly. I am young and reasonably fit, right?? Yeah, fit for cycling, not for hiking. Well, I'll have to do several more big hikes and some weightlifting to get my tendons and muscles stronger. It can't be good to go without good weight-bearing exercise for so long.

Ward and I will be up north again this weekend, probably skiing or snowboarding, but maybe a hike if I can lift my legs one in front of the other.

Thanks to Loraine for that great shot of such a rare clear day on Mt. Washington (the first pic in the post).

The ridgeline from Lincoln to Lafayette as seen from below.

I-93 cuts south through the wilderness.

Canon Mtn had to blow snow after the recent sad streak of warm weather.

In the final half mile above the treeline.

Sunlight through the trees.. follow the light.

There is a radio tower on a hill outside of Littleton. It's visible in this pic if you enlarge it. At the base of that tower lies Ward's 6 acres, and hopefully, the future site of a house!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Back to Life

I'm back in the swing of things, work and play, although isn't it hard after a particularly good vacation? Not only did vacation end, but so did my race season and 10 months of training and racing. If I weren't exhausted, I might feel depressed, but I don't think I even have the energy for such self-absorption. Life feels flipped on end.

Ward and I bought a new car, a Honda Element, picked it up Friday afternoon and promptly stuffed it full of ski and snowboard equipment and headed north to the mountains. Might as well test its versatility in our lifestyle immediately. We visited his parents, our friends Matt and Martha and their cute new baby, then went night snowboarding at Bretton Woods Sat night and spent all of Sunday on the mountain. So, I am left with a dilemna: do I prefer skiing or snowboarding? (Life is tough, eh?) I think it comes down to the conditions, really. Powder = ride. Firmer = ski (I like the "comfort" of two edges on ice.) Packed groomers = either! The snow was great at Bretton Woods this weekend, and I split my time between one board and two. I've got a pair of used tele skis on loan (before purchase) so all I need is some boots, and I'll be good to go. Talk about strength building: doing lunges on skis all day. Look out for my sprint this road season!

The season's over, but every night, bike racing somehow infiltrates my dreams. Last night, my dream had to do with getting my bike assembled before a 4 pm race start, and I needed a part for the threaded headset. One of my collegues at work said confidently they could fix it, but he ended up ripping it apart with a huge adjustable wrench, and then I feared I would miss my start. (Strange from many angles, and when was the last time I rode a bike with a threaded headset??) Somehow, and for some reason, cycling is a part of my dreams every night. I think I seriously need to unwind and release and have some fun for awhile. Time to ski and eat! I plan to spend at least another week off the bike, although I'm getting nervous since I've relaxed a little bit (ok, more than a little bit) in my eating habits and have gained a few pounds.

I made a new dish tonight, it's called Tzimmes. I found it in a cookbook, and it is savory! Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and carrots, simmered with prunes, cinnamon, ginger, orange zest, and brown sugar. The cookbook said it is a traditional Jewish dish, usually served on the New Year. It's going in my book of favorites. I'll send you the recipe if you'd like.

I never write much about work, after all, this is supposed to be a bike racer blog, but I'm starting something new at work that might be worth mentioning. I'm teaching world percussion to my 6th grade music classes. We have a whole set of percussion including congas, talking drums, hand drums, shakeres, agonkua bells (I know I spelled that wrong), and other goodies. It's going to be a fun new challenge, and it'll liven things up in the work end of my life. (As if teaching 5th and 6th grade music wasn't "lively" enough!) I'm enjoying it so far, and I think I might even attend a monthly drum circle for extra fun.