Monday, December 14, 2009

When Life Throws A Snowball At You......

Since we have been inundated with snow, finding anywhere to ride a bike has been pretty tough. 15 inches of fluff doesn't lend itself to be plowed through on two wheels. Even if you have a "fat bike". Snow machines? Bah! Most folks sold theirs off in the ten years of mostly brown winters around here. Not much of that going on round these parts anymore.

So I decided Saturday to make tracks of another kind. My son and I went sledding at the local dike. It's where everyone in this part of the city goes to get their slide on. I even take turns flying down the hill, to the amusement of the kids and the puzzlement of their parents, who mostly are standing on top of the dike trying to stay warm.

My son was up to his thighs walking up the hill, so after about an hour he was struggling to still stand up, but not wanting to go home. I remember feeling that way a few times. Even on some bicycle rides!

Well, that was fun, but it wasn't a bicycle ride either. So I stuck on the wheel set with the Salsa Gordo rims on my El Mariachi and shod it with the WTB Kodiaks front and rear. I ran really low pressure, (probably just over 10psi) and went for an urban ride. It is the only place that is really plowed out, and the sidewalks downtown are very good for staying out of harms way. I found out as it began to grow dark that the primo riding, (for now) is in the alleyways. Nice, grippy, packed snow was fast. There were snow banks to blast through, and sugar snow to plow through, if you could. I ran by some kids sliding down a huge pile of plowed snow. They asked me why I was riding my bike in winter.

I said, "Why not?"

When Life throws you a snowball, make the best of what you got.
On another note- I got a look at XXC Mag's fifth issue and all I can say is "Whoa!" That Jason Mahokey has raised the bar some more with that effort. I "e-paged" through it and the level of professionalism with the over all feel is high, in my opinion, and I've been looking at bicycling oriented media since 1990. The stories are great to boot. You get to see a glimpse of the endurance racer's mindset, especially with the interviews of Eszter Horanyi and Jeremiah Bishop. Even Lincolnite Corey "Cornbread" Godfrey has a write up in there.
XXC used to be a free download, but now there is a nominal charge for it. I would submit that it is well worth it. For the "real-ness" of the reading that is on tap there, you just can not find anything better, especially for endurance freaks. Add to this the excellent contributing photogs and Jason's expert editing and it makes me want to have this in a paper format to look at anywhere/anytime. That's not a knock on Jason or XXC. No- that's a compliment to how good this has gotten in five issues. I have read that Jason is contemplating a move to a "real" paper version someday. I sure hope it gets there.
At any rate- go check it out. Highly recommended reading/viewing there.

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