Wednesday, December 31, 2014


It is the end of another year, on the calendar and on the bike. I have no idea what the bike stats were and frankly, don't really care. What I can say for sure though is that I managed to make it through another year, on the bike, each and every day. Day 1099 in a row. Three calendar years and four days. This year was also the first that I rode outdoors every day. The previous two years in a row I counted rides on the rollers, which I didn't do many of but I certainly did some. Realistically, those rides are valuable recovery training, recovery that is often hard to duplicate outside, especially in weather or cold.

We had so many wonderful days it is impossible to recollect them all. We also had a pretty fair number that the weather was not so great. Most recently, Christmas Eve. I got back from an early Christmas celebration at my folks at 7PM. It was 36 degrees, foggy and pouring rain.That was a tough one. There was the one this summer at camp, which is on a dirt road near the top of a mountain. It was also pouring with the added effect of thunder and lightening.

Probably the worst though was one of the first rides of the year, last January. It was 35 degrees and freezing rain, the roads were covered in slush and the sled trails glazed to glare ice. That was a tough ride, I'm going to say the toughest for me of the year. All in all though, the hardest part is just getting out the door. Once on the bike and riding it all melts away.

Anyhow, I had plans of wrapping the year up with a big memorable ride, another fat bike expedition in Northern NH. Instead, we stuck local and explored a little bit right here from the house in Bethel. What we found was a bunch of good snow cover and some crust that was almost perfect to ride on, almost. We also found a whole mess of really bumpy, rough and hard stuff. My hands, wrists and rear are killing me, We also found a bunch of ice and flooding. It's going to be a while still here, before the sled trails are up to snuff. Need some snow and then some packing and some grooming.

The cold temps are helping to freeze things up quickly though. Speaking of cold, today was for sure. High was in the high teens and when we got back from the ride, just after sunset, it was about 15 degrees. This is some of the first cold we have seen this year and it was biting for sure. Last night we got our first real taste with a night ride from Berlin, NH that ended with temperatures in the single digits. We had a couple very cool descents there but still a good ride with some good friends we've made through fat biking.

So, that's it for 2014. It was a great year in so many ways, none greater of course that the fact that we are here to see her go. May we all be in this exact same spot next year at this time, looking back favorably on 2015, bidding her adieu and looking optimistically at 2016 to be the best year ever, so far.

Happy New Year!


Hill Junkie said...

Actually, some people Nordic ski just like the rides you describe and experience the same sweat/freeze cycles you describe;)

mkr said...

Agreed Doug, I can certainly think of some long cold Nordic descents at Bretton Woods or Jackson.

Hill Junkie said...

Oops, meant to post this on the "Staying Warm" post. Anyway, you got the drift.