Sunday, April 7, 2013

H Two O

Water sure is the basis of life on Earth. The evidence is all around us here in Seattle and WA. Things grow like crazy! Where does all that water go? If it rained this much in California, the whole state would slide into the Pacific within a month. My move to Washington from California was accompanied by advices like "you will have to get used to some wet biking" and I thought, big deal, it is just water and my bikes are Ti and carbon, they don't rust. The fact is that my sinuses and middle ears hate riding in cold and rainy weather and every time I do ignore them and ride, I pay the price. If I get soaked on a work commute, it is kind of OK, since I know I will be home in 30 minutes. No, it is not OK, why am I kidding myself? I hate every minute of biking in a pouring rain! So that's it, when it rains, I do not bike (I do sometimes with the above consequences).
This weekend, after a longer sunny and dry period the weather became active again. Saturday morning was sunny, and I thought "Get out, now!" By the time I was done with some household chores, the first strong cold front moved through. Behind it, a window opened and I did get out, for 7.5mile run. I struggled up every hill, feeling sore and tired. I was thinking how come, did I do anything hard last week? No I did not, I rode my bike to work twice, ran stairs on Tuesday (OK, 250 stairs, four times) and tried to keep up with my young colleagues on our lunch hour workout (2 miles run and three sets of lunges, pushups, squats, and other silly moves). As soon as I got my sore self home, the skies opened up again and the clouds and radar images seemed like it was going to rain for a week.
Come Sunday morning, I used the proven method of escaping rain: go where the water is solid. I drove 80 miles to Crystal Mountain, since I haves not yet been there and it was also supposed to be colder there. Over 10" of fresh snow fell overnight and it kept puking snow as I rode up the gondola. Visibility was nil and the snow was not the lightest powder, but it was OK.

I kept doing laps on the double black diamonds in the Campbell Basin, until my quads burned and all the deep snow was tracked. There is something special about skiing the fall line in deep snow - you know if the conditions were not this perfect, you could not get down that slope by any other means.

In the afternoon, I discovered there was much fresh powder left at the Bear Pitts, but after two more runs, I was done. Nearly five hours with no breaks, no lift lines, I was tired. I admit, downhill skiing is not a typical aerobic strenuous activity, but I was out of breath, I sweat and all my muscles ached at the bottom of each five minute "ride".
So there are ten days left before leaving for the Kokopelli Trail MTB tour, still with few miles in the saddle. Some of these days are going to be spent icing my sore knee, getting my bike and gear ready and perhaps, if the H2O god Aquarius cooperates, possibly one more bike ride (please!).

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