Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Oreo is VERY excited (trust me - this is excited for a cat) to say...

Sunday, January 28, 2007


"In meteorology, an inversion is a deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always refers to a temperature inversion, i.e., an increase in temperature with height..."

Since it was so cold when we got up on Saturday, we decided to head to N. Conway to do some shopping. From Bethel, this trip takes us over Pinkham Notch - past Mt. Washington. On our way back home we noted as we started climbing the Notch, the temp in the truck read 7F. By the time we reached the top of the notch, at the Visitor's Center, the temp was up to 14F, and dropped again to 5F when we reached Gorham. I figured it would be colder up higher, but the inversion actually kept the air at altitude even warmer. That was my science lesson for the day.

To test the inversion back in Bethel, we decided to head up to Sunday River for a few runs in the afternoon. It was beautiful, but COLD - even up top. So much for inversion ;-).

Funny thing, too - we usually ski in the morning, trying to get first runs. By the time we were geared up and skiing, the light was really flat - something I hadn't really experienced before. Made it hard to see with the goggles on. The conditions also were a little different than we're used to. Instead of fresh corduroy, we skied a lot of ice. I think we'll go back to skiing in the morning.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Of Cold and Donuts

Baby, it's COLD outside! We woke up this morning, and the temp was -7F. It warmed up to a balmy 2F, and as I write this, is back down to -4F. The forecast is for the low to hit -18F, and the wind is howling. Good thing for down jackets and flannel-lined pants!

Driving up to ME last night, we stumbled on a treasure. Normally, we take a shortcut on our route just outside of Oxford so that we miss the downtown areas of Oxford and Norway. Last night, on a whim, we decided to head through town. You could hear the screeching of the brakes on the truck as we stumbled across a brand new Tim Horton's! Yes indeedy, 20 mins from our house in ME we now have a taste of Canada! We stopped, not for the coffee, but for the glazed sour cream donuts and apple fritters. I'm sure that eating donuts will help us to stay warm...

Monday, January 22, 2007

What's Old is New Again

We were going to ski yesterday morning, but were a bit deterred by the temperature and the HOWLING winds (I seriously thought the house would blow over during the night!). So, we drove back to MA where the temp was a balmy 26 F. After unpacking and some lunch, we decided to throw the studded tires on the mountain bikes and head out for a ride.

We have lived in our town for over 10 years, and are familiar with most of the trails in town. Over the past couple of years, however, we have been doing more road riding and haven't been frequenting as many trails. Much to our delight, it seems that in that time, the area trail committee has been busy building new trails on existing systems, and putting up LOTS of trail markers (of course, we don't want anyone getting lost in suburbia...).

Mike and I explored some of these new trails and rediscovered some old favorites, but our real quest was to check out the ice. The local ponds were frozen, and while a bit bumpy, provided excellent riding opportunity. We always chuckle at the reaction of the skaters/pick-up hockey players when they see us riding our bikes across the pond. I think the best riding of the day, however, was on the swamp behind our local swimming area - frozen and you couldn't ride the trail system there if it weren't! Hopefully we'll get out for another ice ride later this week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Winter is Here

The world is back on its regular axis.

On Friday, we managed to drive 80 miles to ride 212! A reversal from last week, and we were able to leave from our normal departure spot in Errol, NH. The trails from Errol through to Pittsburgh were in great shape after picking up snow most of last week. There were still a couple of thin areas, but it started snowing while we were out, and we had a blast.

Riding the trail

Diamond Peak and Magalloway Bowl

Moose and partridge on the trail

Starting to snow

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


It seems that at least some of winter has finally arrived in New England. This morning when I got up, the thermometer read 6F (-14C). Still no snow here, but it was plenty cold all day. After work, the temp was a balmy 15F (-9C). What to do? Ride, of course!

I dressed in multiple layers - wool ski socks, bike shorts and knee warmers as the first bottom layer, and then a pair of wind proof winter tights over top; sports bra, undershirt, wicking hoodie and lined wool jersey topped with a wind vest and jacket on the top; added toe covers over my wool socks, and slipped on my Lake winter shoes for my feet; hands had a pair of liner gloves with an outer layer of fleece-lined ski gloves; fleece earband, hood (from hoodie) and helmet on my head. I felt like the Michelin man.

I headed out with the boys. Riding the road to get to the woods was chilly - my face got a little cold, but the rest of me was ok. Once we were in the woods, I quickly warmed up. After a few days of rain, and then cold temps here, the trails were pretty solid, but not as icy as I expected. The ice came whenever we needed to cross a bridge.

After doing some really fun riding, it was time to head home when my feet started to get really cold. I ran for awhile on one trail just to try to get them warmed up some! The only issue was that the ride home was mostly downhill, and a lot of roads, making it VERY COLD; in fact, I ended up with an ice cream headache on the way home!

Changed into warm, dry clothes and ate some dinner, so am warm and happy as I write this. Crazy? Yes indeed. We usually do one really cold ride a year though, and have ridden in colder temps. Managed to ride 10.5 miles in 1:40. I think I'll ride the trainer in the basement next week - it's definitely warmer ;-).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

In Search of ... Snow!

Well, it took some work, but we FINALLY got out to ride in the snow today!

We got up at the crack of yesterday (aka 5:00 a.m.!) and were out the door within an hour. Temp when we left was 37 degrees, and as we drove, it kept getting WARMER. This wasn't boding well... We continued on our way over Grafton and Dixville Notches. Finally, as we crested Dixville Notch and headed down towards The Balsams, it started to snow. Yippee!

The weather changed again heading into Colebrook, where there was no snow. In fact, there was no snow all the way through downtown Pittsburgh. As we went further north, and started climbing though, we started to see the white gold everywhere. Of course, we WERE almost in Canada ;-). We pulled into the parking lot and were unloaded and ready to ride just after 8:00.

The trails were a little thin in places (ok, in some places you could hear your skis hitting rocks), but some of the trails were in excellent shape, with about 6 inches or more of snow cover. We could tell by seeing how far down the moose tracks went ;-). We saw lots of tracks today, but no moose. Only one wildlife encounter.

The jays up there have no fear, and will land right on you looking for food. This one wasn't happy when it landed on Mike to find there was no food, and we felt a little bit guilty. Next time, I will pack a ziploc of bird seed in the bag.

We saw a number of riders, including five game wardens - they were out ensuring we all adhered to the 45 mph speed limit, and that we had registrations. We saw them writing tickets to at least one group of sledders.

After about 87 miles, we headed back to the parking lot to call it a day. Apparently a lot of people were looking to ride, 'cause not only were the lots full, but people were parked up and down the road as well! It was amazing to see trucks and trailers everywhere.

And, while we were out, the temps dropped from 32 to 23, and there had been rain, making the roads a literal skating rink. The drive back down into Pittsburg for lunch was treacherous and a little nerve wracking.

Ok, so we DROVE 200 miles to ride 87, but for the first ride on my brand new sled (which, I'll have you know, is one of the cleanest and most fuel-efficient available), I would do it again in a heartbeat. Let's hope that Mother Nature starts dumping some more snow SOON!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Introducing Oreo

Since I don't have much blog worthy news today, I figured that I would introduce Oreo. She's not too excited that we're heading up north today - doesn't like the act of getting in the car. Once there, she's a fine passenger, and she doesn't mind the Maine house either. Good thing, since she doesn't have much choice!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Time to Announce the Blog!

It's taken me a couple of days to figure out the intricacies of this blogging thing. Thanks to my good friend and blogger extraordinaire, Claudia, I think I finally have it down. Now it's time to announce the page to some friends and family, and see what they think!

On the riding front, I went out with the boys for a SS ride last night. It was a little wet, but not too bad. I think, though, that I need a bit of a break. I felt lethargic while riding and think that it's because I haven't yet had a break from the bike.

The weather here has been uns[r]easonable, and the lack of snow means that we can't yet ski, snowshoe or snowmobile as an alternative... Plus, I would feel guilty if I hadn't gone out this past weekend with temps in the 70s! Hard to believe it is January.

Looks like rain and warm-ish temps here in MA for the weekend. I think we'll head north and see what kind of snow we can find...

Monday, January 8, 2007


My New Year's resolution was to start a blog. This way, I could keep friends and family up-to-date on our adventures: biking, racing, skiing, snowmobiling, hiking and more. This will also allow me to post pictures of our adventures.

So, this is my first entry! Woohoo! I will try to update on a regular basis. Let me know what you think!