Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
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 ;-).
Friday, January 26, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
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
So, this is my first entry! Woohoo! I will try to update on a regular basis. Let me know what you think!