Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fat Bikes: Making Warm Snowless Winters Suck Less

It was about this time last year that I carving lines in deep untracked powder through the woods in the Blue Hills.   Those were the days- "were” being the operative word.

As if a look out the window wasn’t enough to nail home the sad state of the snowpack, this morning’s long term forecast is calling for temperatures in the 40’s for the foreseeable future.  While there's still plenty of winter left to fulfill our backcountry skiing plans, the next few weeks aren't looking so good.  But like anything in life, you can sit home and cry in your Cheerios or you can adapt, evolve, and find a silver lining.   If you’re a winter outdoor enthusiast, you may need a fat bike to mine that vein of silver.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Zwift and How I Spent My November Mornings On An Island in the Pacific

Right in the middle of the lane.  What a dick.
Sweat was pouring down off of me onto the bike as I closed my eyes, got out of my seat and hammered the pedals.  The gate was in sight just a few hundred yards ahead and I was in a dead sprint trying to outrun a shifty Canadian who had slid in behind me mid way through the climb.  I was pedaling as hard as I could in the highest gear for what felt like an eternity.  I looked up in time to see the other rider edge over the line just ahead of me.  But my disappointment was short lived as I realized I had set a personal best on the climbing segment.  So much for my planned "recovery ride".  Just another morning on Zwift.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Luther Forest and Life Choices (July 2015)

It was 11;00PM.  Brian and I had spent two hours driving around Saratoga looking for a cheap motel with vacancy.  We finally overpaid for a couple dirty mattresses surrounded by four slabs of moldy sheetrock and a grubby plastic bathroom.

As I lay there with a belly full of potato chips, doughnuts and Four Loko, I began to doubt the wisdom of some of my recent decisions.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Daniels Road State Forest: Rock and Roll (July 2014)

If you're a beginner you may just want to wrap yourself in bubble wrap before leaving the parking lot.
There are some places that you go riding to unplug, relax, and let the flow lull you into a restorative trance.  And then there are the places where you make sure your life insurance premium is paid before you throw a leg over the top tube.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Prime Time and a Return to Ascutney (August 2015)

Mt. Ascutney
These are good days to be a mountain biker in New England. Trail networks are popping up like Republican presidential candidates.  From Stowe, VT to Charlemont, MA communities are embracing mountain biking and pouring resources into building and improving trails.  

But is more always better?  And does trail building equal improvement or progress?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Kearsarge Powderline

“Wow.  That’s a great looking deer.”

There was just enough time for that simple thought to enter my brain as the front end of my Mercury Tracer crumpled and the airbag exploded into my face.  The sound of screeching brakes and glass scattering along the highway broke the pristine silence of a cold, clear November night somewhere near Warner, New Hampshire.

A cloud of white obscured my vision and as soon as the car came to rest in the breakdown lane, I jumped out.  I stood there by the side of the road for a second- still dazed and trying to make sense of what just happened.   By the time I figured out the car wasn’t on fire, and the white cloud was actually talcum powder from the airbag, the car was rolling down a steep embankment and unceremoniously mowing down a grove of young pine trees far below.

A passerby stopped when they saw me standing on the side of the road.   I explained that I had hit a deer.

“But where is your car?”   I pointed down at the now camouflaged car hidden in the trees below.

“Where’s the deer?”  That one had me stumped.  I had no idea.  It was nowhere to be seen, but judging from the front of the car, it didn’t get very far.

Eventually a state police officer arrived, and invited me to tell him what happened.

“Soooo…… where’s the car?”  “Aaaaand now,.... where’s the deer?”