Monday, January 17, 2011

Risking death to avoid the trainer

A busy weekend for sure, things started of in a very unusual way on what would be usual practice. With she off at work in the morning I was left with time and to do list for training. First up was to try and exhaust the dogs. The previous nights walk on Georgian Bay had given me great ideas, the bay was in fantastic shape and with the combination of snowmobile tracks and wind the few days earlier the plan on a long skate ski for Saturday morning was the first on the list. Things started off pretty good, not perfect like the night before. An inch of snow had come down the night before and the term flat light was in full effect.

Started out the main channel with the dogs running like lunatics, with the legs feeling great and the spirit high for this I shuffled along towards ice hut city. It had already started but I ignored it, I could see everything sorta. As we hit the redneck hangout I started looking around and weighing the where to go options, a quick talk with one of the guys there, I knew things were frozen over with no worries but the snow had started to come down now. I decided that I would stick around the channel. This is where things went weird. As I pushed along the snow increased. There was no wind but with the steady wall of white depth perception was pretty much gone. My sunglasses started to become useless, the transition lenses figured it was a bright sun day and were almost black.

So here I am squinting and skiing along for a solid 10 to 15 minutes. This is when my brain went into warp speed. I started to wonder where I was, in every direction it was just white. I skied a few more minutes and was beginning to feel a bit nervous, I know the bay well and that was why I couldn't figure out why I was seeing channel markers. I stopped, pulled out the head phones and started listening closely, I should be able to hear the 400, I should be heading towards that noise. It didn't make sense, it seemed to be coming from the wrong directions. I pulled out the modern technology and hit the gps button on my phone. It showed me someplace I thought was impossible. I skied a few more minutes and saw the row of cottages. Common sense kicked in, skied to them, walked up the road and shook my head in amazement. I was about 4 plus km in the wrong direction. The gps was right.

Now knowing where I was I took a deep breathe of relief and began my return to start by way of the shore line. The snow had been pretty steady now and made for some very tough skiing. Between that and the slight bit of panic i was far from skiing in my lower zones. It was one of those reminders on how people can get lost in their own back yards with the right snow conditions. An hour and a half after I started I was walking with the dogs back to the house. My initial plan for the long ski changed a little because of good old common sense and wanting safety. So I changed out some clothes and ski boots for cycling shoes and headed out on the single speed for the rest of my scheduled time.

I've always heard single speeders say they are always in the right gear, today it seemed to be that way. The 29er was the perfect bike for me to roll along the shoulder of the highway. After I'd scared myself on the skis I figured I'd not have nervous winter drivers try and pass me on a snow covered highway. Took the long way around to Vasey Line and like I said the bike was in the right gear, it was a gear I managed to muscle up the slippery snow covered climb that hurts while climbing on a warm dry day. Yep it hurts just as much on a cold snowy day. A right turn near the top had me on a road that would scare most cars with the snow cover, perfect for riding on.

Many many minutes later I was rolling back into the driveway, no scares on the bike, just over 3 hours of outdoor thrills including a bout of fear, this lead on to Sunday. It was partly time, it was partly temperature, it was a mix of everything, I found myself in a warm dry windless snowless padded room on the trainer late Sunday evening. There were many reasons for it, none that great but it needed to be done. Yet another week is starting, yet more to do this week in the world of training and play.

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