Saturday, December 08, 2007

On Snow

After five days as a bloated slug, I actually got out today on the snow that fell last Monday. Scheduling had prevented me from doing anything with it prior to this, and it had kept me from going out on the bike.

The temperature spiked an extra five degrees just before I set out. I had already rewaxed twice as the day warmed before I could get out. Within minutes I stopped to put on the warmest wax I had with me, still about a grade shy of what was really needed.

Here I was, on snow for the first time since last March, but needing mid-season precision in my technique to make marginal wax work. No one witnessing my liberal and continuous dropping of F-bombs would have thought I was having a good time. But they just don't know how I have a good time.

I kept it a little short since it was my first time out. I used to shift to weight training, Nordic Track and other dry land conditioning methods, but in the past couple of years I've tried to direct my energy into creative pursuits. Moving on snow is so different from anything else that you can never make a seamless transition to real skiing from any substitute activity.

At times, several strides in a row might look and feel right. Despite my discouraging lack of coordination and power, I know things will rapidly improve, as long as I can continue to get out.

Looking at the snow cover, thin as it is, I kept having to remind myself it isn't even the tenth of December yet. This is wintry snow. We didn't get a couple of feet of it, but the trails are covered well enough to make full-on rock skis unnecessary.

All could change in hours. But for now and the near future, the winter pattern seems well established. Even a couple of decades ago, this early snow would not have been so unusual. But New Hampshire is at the same latitude as southern France, not a notorious hotbed of winter sports. The wise outdoor athlete around here keeps options open.

I saw a surprising number of bicyclists as I drove to work this morning. Usually whenever I see a cyclist from my car I have a powerful urge to be out there with them. But considering the brown, briny slush they were riding through, that urge was quickly quelled. Cold and wetness can be dealt with, but that corrosive spooge is something else.

One more shot at the groomies tomorrow. Then I'm home and carless for Monday and Tuesday, with storm coming in on Monday. Maybe I can fit in a little exploring out back with the coyotes and the wild turkeys, to get my attitude in shape for domestic chores and studio work.

No comments: