It's everywhere - on Facebook, Twitter, blogs. It's on the news, and all the weather reports. It's part of every conversation I've had recently with friends, acquaintances and even strangers. People are generally sick of winter - not just sick of it, but they're complaining about it at every opportunity. They want spring, and sunshine and warmth, and they want it NOW. Some have escaped to warmer (tropical) climates to try to infuse some non-winter into their lives, only to return to the bitter cold and snow of New England, longing even harder for the Spring to come. And this week's forecast for more snow isn't helping.
Woolen mittens and hats, and felt boot liners were constantly on a drying rack, with snow pants, scarves and jackets not far away. We made our fun - sledding, building snow forts and snowmen, catching snowflakes on our tongues, making snow angels, making war with snowballs and just plundering away in whatever the weather gave us. There were no snow days, and trudging to the bus stop in the winter was an adventure.
This winter, a REAL New England winter (OK, so I'm Canadian - it's not that far off) has reminded me of those winters of my childhood. My nose has been constantly running, the mittens are always on the register, and the snow pants hanging over the rail to dry. I've embraced the bitterly cold temperatures and the mounds of snow, playing outside almost every day, and loving [most] every minute of it.
|It might melt - by May|
The primary activity for us this winter has been riding the fat bikes, something I wasn't sure I would like initially, but have embraced whole-heartedly. We've had some awesome adventures riding to places inaccessible other times of the year. I tallied things up today, and I've got between 45 and 50 days on my bike since I got it in November, am approaching 650 miles, and an astounding 42,500 feet of climbing (did I mention that it's not flat in Maine?). I currently have over double the miles on the Charge Cooker Maxi than I do on the brand new Cannondale Evo I bought in August of last year. And I hope to put on even more before the winter is through with us!
I've raced the fat bike, and shared the passion I have with other newbies. We've done social rides, had date nights, and just ridden to see where we the trail would take us. The trails here are endless, and the conditions have been spectacular. We have literally been limited only by some extreme temperatures (keeping hands and feet warm for 2-3 hours on a 10F night is pretty difficult). Some nights we go out for a ride and don't see another soul the entire time - those we do see are courteous, slowing and waving, and even offering encouragement and kudos. We were recently home in MA on a weekend road ride and I commented that I had completely forgotten how to ride in traffic!
I, for one, am lamenting the pending end of the winter. I will miss riding on the snow, into the wilds, not always knowing where we will end up, or where the adventure will take us. But I do know, that when spring arrives, I will switch gears as well, and you won't hear me complaining. It is, after all, what you make it, and your cup can be half empty, or half full. Clearly, mine runneth over!