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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Skiing in the Dark

My day started at 5:45 driving up to the lower Sour Dough, near the Mountain Research Station. Let's go skiing before work and so off we went in the pre-dawn. I get up this early anyway, now its just more focused and I get my exercise in. Our lead crazy skied off into the dark and I shuffled along for 45 minutes, slightly uphill the whole way. My skis are waxless so going uphill takes a zillion little baby steps - otherwise I slide backwards and have to use my poles to push myself up - my technique is pretty rudimentary.

I've been too cheap to buy a real head lamp, so I've got this flashlight thingy that goes on the brim of a hat. With the snow reflecting the light, I can see about 15 feet really well - but it is a bit nerve racking to be in the middle of the woods, by oneself, no dog as protector, hoping no mountain lion is hungry. So I sang Christmas carols - loudly.

The leads went about 2 - 3 miles in, I have no idea how far I went, maybe a little over a mile and turned around when they came back down the trail. By now it was light out so careening downhill and huffing uphill was a bit easier with being able to see the rocks and tree roots. Complete trip was about an hour.

If someone had told me a month ago that I would have the lungs to x-ctry ski for an hour I would have laughed. Now I'm wondering what I'm going to do for exercise while we're in North Carolina starting tomorrow... Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Between the storms

golden light glitters ~~ in the meadow snow devils spin  ~~ welcome back dear sun

Coyotes howling ~~ yipping hello? in night's air ~~ we found each other!

Monday, December 07, 2009

5 degrees and falling

flat shadowless world ~~  snowy fields fade into grey ~~ I can't see a thing

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Motorcycling and Skiing

They seem like opposites. In normal circumstances, the conditions that make for great motorcycling, mean there's no snow for skiing. And when there's awesome skiing, you'll probably not want to be on the road with a motorcycle, unless you have spikes or studs in the tires.

Yet, there I was yesterday cross-country skiing a very nice trail - the upper Sour Dough near Brainard Lake -  sliding up and down hills contemplating how riding a motorcycle and xtry-skiing have similarities. What was it that felt familiar? Tiny baby step stomps to ascend small hills? The thrill of sliding downhill in my best knee-knocking snowplow? 

And then it dawned on me. It is more than just the ability to balance, it is an awareness of how subtle changes in one's body position and limbs changes the balance one is in. The gee-whiz word for this is proprioception.

For example, when I felt the right side of body start to flail and lean outward, I knew to pull my arm back to my body which settled my imbalance right down. And re-learning to turn, which while different than learning to counter-steer a motorcycle, was similar in that the opposite of what you thought is what you do. To go right while skiing you lean on the inner edge of your left ski... to turn curve right on a motorcycle, you push on your right-hand handlebar).

So I guess riding all summer on dirt and jeep roads, learning to let my motorcycle squirrel beneath me has helped me learn to ski!

About Me

Join me in my adventures as I learn to ride a scooter and experience the world through two wheeled transport.