Season Dilemma

Back in January I had promised myself that I would go snowboarding at least once this season. Mt Washington was having another stellar year, and I didn’t want to miss out again. I sent some emails out, and only one person got back to me about going. I was a little bummed, but at least I had someone to go with.

Two nights before the day of the trip, the friend had to cancel due to a bum knee. He felt bad, and was a little sorry for himself. I was left with a dilemma. Do I still go? If I do, should I take the Ski Bus, or drive?

I ended up choosing to go alone. I really wanted to get on the slopes, and I couldn’t pass this up. I drove to my Mom’s the night before, then the day of, I headed for the hill. The drive up was very easy, and soon enough I was parked and getting my gear ready. I was pretty pumped to be there. Did I mention that in the previous week the mountain had received crazy amounts of snow? One night they had over 80 cms. It was also a blue sky kind of day.

I rode the singles line all day which meant I got plenty of runs. I hit the major chairs except the boomerang. Also, since I was riding alone I didn’t do many tree runs. I found the snowboard cross coarse next to the terrain park, and had a blast making runs down there. I was surprised there weren’t more people on the hill though. The lines really weren’t that long, especially over on the orange chair where I could almost board straight onto the chair.

At lunch time, there were no lines on any chairs. Very weird for such excellent conditions. I took full advantage. When the crowds returned, then I headed in for some lunch.

I always eat at Fat Teddy’s, the pub like restaurant. Even though it wasn’t slammed when I got there, the service was horrible, and I wasn’t that happy with my burger (mass produced and frozen patty, same for the fries). Full, but $20 poorer I went back out to the slopes.

All too soon they were taking down the barricades. I made a couple more runs then called it a day. Awesome to be sure. Very glad I went, despite how expensive the day turned out. I forgot to mention that my first shock was the price of a lift tickte. $76. The last time I was there it was $58 I think.

Muscle Biking

Since the New year I’ve been trying to get back on my bike a bit. I did that trip to Tzouhalem, and I’ve been on my road bike. This is all in early prep for the Tour de Victoria of course.

Yes it’s early, but I am using that excuse. Riding is fun, and I do enjoy it quite a bit.

Way back on Feb 5 I got out for a ride with a friend. As I was getting ready (ahem, I should say I was putting on my booties), I pulled a muscle in my back. I was sitting down and hurt my back. WTF?

Still it was such a nice day I rode anyway hoping that it would loosen me up a bit. The ride was a spectacular couple of hours. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the sunshine that we rode in. Unfortunately my back didn’t, and I was in some pretty serious back pain that took a couple weeks to resolve.

Last weekend I took my hardtail out to the dump. I still haven’t fixed the chain on my Bullit so the bike choice was easy. Mountain biking is so much different from road biking. The pace is slower, and the workout full body. And you don’t cover nearly the same distance in the same amount of time.

Here is a map of that ride.

Yesterday I got out for a solo road ride. I had aimed for a couple hours, and in the end I think it was 2.5 hours. Blustery day which made for a couple terrifying moments. One cross breeze hit me hard enough to put me into a two wheel drift. The route I ended up doing was really nice too. Prospect Lake Road is sure fun, and pretty quiet. After a few more training rides I will tackle Munn’s Road. There are some big hills on that one.

Can’t wait to get more rides in this year.

Changed Chain

Yesterday I rode at Mt Tzouhalem for the first time in a few years. A lot has changed up there. It was always a fun place to ride, but there are some stellar trails now. Smile inducing trails with awesome berms, good jumps, lots of speed, and some excellent DH time. I can’t wait to go back.

Below is a map of the route.

The downside was that I broke my chain. Twice. The first time I had fixed it in record time, but I had routed it through the derailleur a little wrong (the chain was on the wrong side of a retention tab). After I fixed that, it didn’t look right, but I thought/hoped it would be enough to get me home. No such luck.

After it snapped again I had to go chainless back to the truck. I took a couple DH trails with no chain, which was pretty fun, but the setbacks meant I was late leaving which impacted Sox a bit.

Now to get my bike fixed.

Switched Swim

Last night I went swimming for the first time in a

while. The plans was for a family swim. One parent does a workout, while the other plays with the kids, then we switched.

The plan worked out well. The kids had fun, and both Sox and I got our swim in.

My problem was that I ate dinner too close to when I swam, and I didn’t feel very good for most of the swim. Still, it felt good to be in the water, and I managed 700m.

Post swim, while sitting on the couch, the whole body tired began to settle in. It is a good feeling that I get from swimming, and from mountain biking (sometimes). I still feel some muscles this morning.

This is the start of my Tour de Victoria training for 2012. Woohoo!

Snow Corners

I went out for a cold ride today. Victoria was supposed to get snow last night, and at our house we did get some (less than an inch). I had been hoping for a snow ride, but that didn’t pan out. The closer I got to the dump, the less snow there was on the ground.

Still, it was a great ride. Cold, but not too slippery. Crunchy. I love the sound of my tires creaking through snow, or crashing through icy puddles.

I had Heart with me, and she had a great time too. On Shock Treatment, the first trail from the parking lot, she was going full tilt. She was in front of me, and would sprint as fast as she could until I was out of sight. We call it a puppy run (where she runs with her bum a little closer to the ground than normal, and is running full tilt). As soon as I rounded a corner, I could see she was waiting for me in the middle of the trail, and when she saw me she would turn and sprint away as fast as possible. Very funny.

I had my Bullit out today to give myself more of a workout in an effort to keep warm. That worked very well. I even managed to work out the kinks in the recent work that was done on my drivetrain. They adjusted, but I found it was still skipping gears at very inopportune times.

My final trail of the day was Who’s Yer Daddy. This is a fairly technical DH trail, but it is a lot of fun. I was 3/4 of the way down when I landed a jump in a bad spot, I felt my rear wheel slam hard into a rock. A couple corners later I felt something was off in the rear end, and sure enough I had pinch flatted.

I got out the tool kit and began trying to take the muddy, wet, snowy tire off the rim. What a pain that was. DH rims had sidewalls that are a little taller than normal rims to try and keep the tire seated better. I also had wire beads on the rear tire. It took me a long time to get the tire off.

Back at the car I went to hose off my bike, but couldn’t as the hose was frozen solid! Nice. The dog dish was a block of ice too (not that Heart would have had a drink anyway).

Fall will always be my favorite time of year to ride, but rides like this are truly spectacular. If I had enough of them they may make me change my mind.

Owl Amazing

Sunday morning, out of the corner of her eye, Sue saw something swoosh by the kitchen window. It took her a minute to figure out what it was. Explaining to myself and the kids took even longer, I just wasn’t getting what she was saying. Suddenly I saw it. An owl had landed in our neighbours tree!

I grabbed my camera and headed out to see if I could get a couple shots. He/she was transfixed by a squirrel until I got close then it checked me out before returning to watching the squirrel.

I went back out a second time after it had moved to a different branch. I got to close though and it bolted, completely silently. Amazing.

Bundled Flames

On Saturday night we bundled up and headed down to the foot of Cook St to watch the Island Equipment Owners Association’s Lighted Truck Parade. This parade is an annual thing, and Sue, Elliot, and I really enjoy it. It’s hard to tell if Amy likes it.

The lead up to the parade is hilarious because a few minutes before the trucks arrive, we start seeing lots of motorcycle police zip by with lights going. They move up in advance to block off the roads. Traffic coming down Cook gets quite confused by being forced to turn around and find a different route. Endless entertainment as more than a few drivers were lectured by the officer.

Then the trucks showed up. Wow, these guys do an amazing, amazing job of decorating their trucks. Some of them had huge trailers that were equally decked out. They do drive fairly quickly along the route, honking their horns the entire way. If you live in Victoria, and haven’t seen it, you really should make the effort next year.

This was new this year. Flames shooting out of the pipes!

There is something about this one that makes it my favorite every year.