Embracing Winter

Authors note: I highly recommend you play the video below and listen to the music while reading today’s post……. 

 

We are in the midst of another cold and snowy winter in the North Country. While my friends in California tease me with pictures of mountain biking in what is pretty close to our North Country summer weather, we are stuck with almost 3 ft of snow on the ground and sub zero temps.

There really isn’t anything you can do by embrace winter and get out to experience it.

Last weekend we “heated up” into the 20’s for daytime highs and so I pulled my mountain bike out for a spin. I decided I was going to ride over to the place I went cross country skiing last weekend to see if the trails were packed down enough that I could get my non-fat tired mountain bike onto them.

I purposely waited till later in the day because I knew it was going to snow and it somehow seamed the proper thing for this expedition. In the 20’s its relatively easy to dress to ride. A base layer, long sleeve jersey and my cold weather coat. A knit hat under my helmet and bootie covers on my shoes.

For gloves. Well I went with my summer weight long fingered gloves. Insane you say. No I reply. I have had lots of trouble with my hands in moderate to cold temps. They get hot, sweat, and then freeze. BUT I had a secret weapon. These:

Let me say this….. Bar Mitts are THE solution. They are like little neoprene igloos for your hands. The neoprene keeps the wind and moisture away from your fingers. Your body heat builds a little warm zone inside. They have openings so it doesn’t get too warm. I am in total love with these.

And so I headed out. The roads were snow covered, but not too bad. And as I rode down the road I had one of my favorite songs from Ride the Divide playing in my head (click on that link on top if you haven’t already!)….

…….and lost myself in my ride. That song is what pops into my mind when I am “journeying” on my bike. It just fits.

I got to the trails and realized that one of the things I like about them is that not a lot of people use them. The bad part of that good thing was that my not-so-fat tired mountain bike wasn’t going to work on those trails due on the deep loose snow.

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And so I rewound The Stable Song and headed back home. I went round about. At one point I was so just into my ride that I rode past my road without even noticing. Totally in the moment.

My reward for that missed turn was getting to see some deer and turkeys hanging out on another road. The snow picked up in intensity making for a fantastic winter day.

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The ride was one long meditation. One long “in the moment”, but without the pain of a serious training ride or a race.

It came to an end. I thanked my bike (and Bar Mitts).

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Then I chipped myself out of my ice cocoon.

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Picture of the Day

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“Frozen Salsa”

 

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