Thursday, January 24, 2008


Last Sunday I met up with Ward Solar to get out for trip on the Wildcat Valley Trail. Ward and I met up in Jackson to stage a car and then I piled into the back of his new Element and Rebecca drove us up to dump us at the base of Wildcat.

I was in my full ninja black uniform- very stylish. You'll notice that Ward has full on tele gear and skins and I was running a pair waxless Karhu Catamounts- which is a good choice of ski but was a bit lacking on the climb.

The trip up was good, nice even pace, took about an hour to climb the 2100'. It was cold but we were working so it wasn't bad. As we got toward the summit the wind was a bit bitting. The entire trip up the views were unreal of Mount Washington and while we didn't spend much time at the summit due to the wind we did take a minute to enjoy the view (this isn't a shot we took, but it is from the same spot).

We quickly got into the woods to get out of the wind and it was amazing how much more comfortable it was in the woods. We descided that brunch at the Red Fox would be in order after the trip so I texted K to let her know that was the plan and then we pushed off.

The snow was great, there were a couple of sets of tracks so speed wasn't and issue and when the pitch was there you could get into the untracked and enjoy some nice turns. About a quarter of the way down we were complailning that neither of us brought a camera and then Ward realized that he had a camera on his phone- this is me looking dashing in the woods:

It was a great trip down and the Birch Glade was, as always, amazing! Ward was making some nice turns and got me wishing that I had brought "big gear", but I was managing fine just not able to be real aggressive with my turns. Of course the tables turned when we got to the flats and I was digging being on lightweight XC gear.

There were a few sections of old logging roads that had some interesting waterbar sections. Ward and I were doing out best 1980's spread eagles and Ward even threw in a very stylish back scratcher

It was fun skiing on the edge at times and there were even a few "gaps" that needed to be cleared at speed as some of the waterbars had running water going through. It should be noted that at one point we skied up to a small stream and I felt that I could jump it- Ward felt it wasn't doable- even trying to get his camera out to record either me laying in the water or me with broken skis- but I made it (barely) and then on his attempt he put a ski in the water which made gliding a bit interesting for a short bit.

We finally made it out to Carter Notch road and intelligently took off our skis and walked the half mile to the car and met up with everyone at the Red Fox.

Ok so we didn't do that- instead we began a foolish bushwack that included me beating up a blister to the point that I'm still wearing clogs four days later- but I won't go into details on our foolishness. Needless to say we made it out and then went and chowed down at Brunch.

It was great to get to ski with Ward and then catch up with Rebecca as well. If you haven't read her posts about here first crack at racing cyclocross in Belgium this past December you should- good stuff.

That's it for now- but we'll do the trip again- this time Ryan up at GGTOC won't bail on us- and we'll get JJ and my wife to go as well.



Thursday, January 17, 2008

Epic Ride Planned

What are you doing on Saturday, June 21st? TWAF is planning on an estimated 12 hours of quality saddle time. Start in Center Conway, head out to Bartlett and go up and over Bear Notch, then up and over the Kanc, down into Lincoln and then up Rt 3 through Fanconia Notch, bang a right onto 302, ride by the beautiful Mount Washington Resort and then through Crawford Notch, roll into Glen and bang a left up Pinkham Notch, go by our friends at GGTOC, into Gorham, take a right onto Route 2 and then a left onto North Road into Maine then up and over Evans Notch and then home. Estimate 180 miles and a crap load for climbing (I'm guessing 15,000 to 20,000 feeet)

This ride needs a name- thoughts?

We've been looking for motivation to train- I think we've found it!



Sunday, January 13, 2008

First Ride of 2008

Snuck out for my first ride of the year yesterday. Grabbed the El Mariachi and hit the road with no real game plan. I was thinking of just riding pavement as we had had freezing rain the day/night before so the roads were a bit sketchy on the edges. So cruised down Mill and then hit Browfield road. I got up to Potter and decided to see how it was holding up. It was very icy but there was enough texture in the ice to make staying upright very doable.

I figured I'd ride out to the end of where they plow, turn around and go off in another direction. The views along the lake were fantastic, it was fun to ride it in the opposite direction. When I got to the end of where the town maintains the road I noticed that it had been sort of plowed/packed down. The road looked awful and very icy so I went for it. It was a bit of a sketchy ride at times but I took it slow and managed to stay upright. Then over to Greely which had been plowed and sanded- prior to the freezing rain. Again there looked to be enough texture to get traction so I went for it.

I had forgotten that in this direction it was a good climb, and that combined with the ice made it a good challenge. I slipped a few times but managed to not dab and made it to the bottom of Leavitt, which is paved- but not maintained. Fortunately it has a southern exposure so pavement was showing but it had a thin breakable layer of ice on top. I headed up having to stay seated to make sure my rear tire didn't slip- I got almost to the top and slid out and then it got interesting as I was standing but sliding down the hill backwards holding my bike. I aimed for the snowbank and managed to "self arrest" but was then stuck for a moment while I planned how to make it to the top. I found that if I used the very edge of the snowbank I could get footing and climb my way up- I must of looked pretty foolish- but I also knew that anyone that could see me would be dealing with the same issue!

At the old farm house at the top I stopped to enjoy the view, it was pretty spectacular with clear skies and all the mountain summits very white as they broke above treeline.

I new the descent down Gulf road "should" be clear- but I was nervous as I rolled up to it. I took the approach to let the bike run when it looked glossy and grab two handfuls of brake anytime I saw road that had dirt on top of the ice. It made for an exciting ride!

Then up and over the back of Davis, with a tour of the new lots up on top- still looks like their all for sale- anyone want to be JJ's neighbor?

Then home via Mill St/302. It was a good ride, took about 1:40- certainly not record pace- but it felt good to get out.

Now it's time to load up the car to go get in some Nordic up at GGTOC.



Monday, January 07, 2008

Bike? What Bike?

My bike work area is MIA, completely hidden by waxing benches, irons, brushes and lots of skis- and that's ok with me! Ski season is in full swing and what a season we've been having. Pretty much 'cross season wrapped up and skiing got underway with little hesitation in between.

This past weekend the skiing was excellent- once again. Skied with Emma at Cranmore on Saturday, while K and Lillo ripped around with K's sister and her family. Emma is close to being fully solo up on the mountain- but not just yet. She still has a "bowling for skiers" attitude at times. Then on Sunday we headed up to GGTOC for some nordic, Lillo is doing the BKL program and Emma, K and I skied out to Great Angel again. Emma had a couple ripping downhills where she stayed in the track and just railed around the corners at a good clip. I was nervous a couple times as I wasn't sure she'd make the corner and if she didn't how far off into the woods she'd end up. But it all went well and whe was pretty proud of herself.

I also got out and snowshoe packed our ski trails that are between A1's house and ours. The dogs came out with me and seemed to have a good time- the only down side was that the snow is so deep that hte dogs are doing their business in the track- oh well (klister and dog poo- great combination)

So that's it at the moment. I'll be riding for again this year as will JJ- looking forward to that. Didn't get into the SSWC out in Napa, oh well. We'll still have the North American Championships here in the Valley next fall.

That's it from here.



Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Good morning

The day started like this- get up and snowblow (again- but I'm not complaining), get in feed the kids, pull thier stuff together grab my stuff for work- make sure to not forget my laptop, get the girls ready, get little E into the truck to drop her off at daycare, roll out, get half way to town and realize I left my computer at home, turn around, start to sweat that now I'm going to miss first chair, get the computer speed back to town, drop off little E (she took here time getting out of the truck and walking in), roll to the mountain- see they did an early load- f$%&- oh well- no panic, get to the lift drop my skis put them on- left binding bail snaps- crap! figure out a fix, get on the lift- breath easily again, get down the top half of the mountain with grin that went ear to ear both on the top and bottom of my head (that's a big grin), get over into some terrain where they were blowing snow, did something wrong went ass over tea kettle and landed on my head first- saw stars, stood there for a minute to figure out which way was up and which way was down, skiied down to the lift and shook the fog off, went up again, oh my the snow was so good! Took a few runs hten went back to work. Head still hurts, but damn it was worth it.

I love powder days.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

I can't believe it's 2008- yikes. Anyway it's snowing like crazy and I've got to go fire up the snowblower.

Happy New Year and let's make 2008 a great year.