Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tis the season

In a state where you can ski like this:

I learned the hard way that you can just as easily get caught up in a storm like this:

It's been a great several weeks of training coming off the back of my crash. The numbers are all going in the right direction and I'm more motivated than ever to train hard – which means increasingly audacious goal times and doing whatever it takes to stick to training schedule. In yesterday's case, where I summitted Mt. Ham and got caught up in a torrential snow storm, I definitely tested those limits.

I have a bit of a hot head when it comes to training, so when a light drizzle started 3/4 of the way up Ham I simply upped the power (rather than turn around) to get the rain out of the way quicker. When I looked down a few miles later and my shorts were speckled in white I was in pure ecstasy. As a coastal california kid I don't get to see the snow too often, and Ham had always been fabled to see the first fall of the season. The car that passed me in the blizzard of that last mile must have thought I was an absolute nut to be climbing.

What I learned and now have the pleasure of sharing with you, is that climbing in a snow storm is a whole heck of a lot funner than descending. The 20 miles down ham were the most miserable 20 miles I've had on a bike. I wasn't dressed for the conditions and was soon soaked to the bone, convulsing uncontrollably, and to make matters worse I couldn't go much faster that 15mph for fear of sliding out in the piss conditions. I had to stop halfway as my fingers were so cold I couldn't squeeze the breaks -- and rather than knock on a door to warm up and call a ride, I wanted to prove to myself that I could make it out of the situation. I spent much of that descent thinking about my late buddy, Mark V., and what he must have endured on his journey upstairs. Thanks for giving me the strength the bike home, bud.

And it goes without saying, but I will never ever summit ham again without first checking the forecast.

That's it for today guys. Thanks for reading.

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