First Ride of 2012

We’re still very much in a state (condition) of a snow-deficit.  It’s been at least 5 years since we had so little snow in January.  It does harken back to the days of 1999 – 2001 winters when Paul, Gomer and I would be doing 3-5 hour bike rides on Saturday and Sunday!  It probably is why I was much faster back then!

Anyways…this weekend topped off just around 40 on both Saturday and Sunday.  I took full advantage of both days to get outside instead of hitting the gym.  If I can avoid working out indoors, I will.
Saturday I got in a good 7.8 mile run.  I was not exactly lighting it up out there, but my legs felt good.  I need to get my act together for my half marathon coming up soon.
Earlier in the week Paul and I had decided to ride Sunday.  It was about the same temps today as Saturday, just more clouds and a lot more wind.  Needless to say, it was a mountain bike, get in the woods day.

Paul going low tech

Neither Paul and I are big fans of riding our full suspension bikes in really cold temps because of what it can do the the shock seals.  Today it would probably have been okay given that it was 38 degrees, but both of us had already decided to go low tech.
Paul went wicked low tech.  He has this old Specialized Rockhopper from circa 1998.  It’s 7 speed, rim brakes and fully rigid.  It’s got good bones, but far from the technological wonders we are both running for mountain bikes now.
I decided on the more standard “low tech” for me and took out the Salsa Fargo.  I have said it many times already,  it is a bike that is good at everything, great at nothing.  I can ride the road, trails and everything in between on that sucker.

The trails were pretty firm today.  There is a fair amount of ice out in the woods too.  Couple dicey sections, but nothing that was a major challenge.
We started by hitting the St. Paul’s School trails.  There is quite a bit of running and jogging trails out there.  The campus is huge, and pretty well wooded.  Lucky for us mortals, this elite private school allows us locals to ride on their property (as long as we don’t act like jerks).

One of several dams on the St. Paul's property

I would love to see what this school looked like 50 years ago.  They’ve got an old ski jump, observatory, and other unknown cellar holes scattered throughout the property.  It must have been pretty cool back in the day.
After St. Paul’s we headed into Bow and rode the stuff along Clinton St and Page Rd, then headed up the old Branch Londonderry Tpk into the center of Bow  We stopped behind Bow High School to check out exactly how frozen the pond was.  The final push was back through St. Paul’s XC running course and back to Paul’s house.

Pete on Turee Pond

The pond was frozen, but not enough to follow to the snowmobile trail on the right hand shore.  I felt confident enough to walk out above the boat launch though.

Rockhopper and Fargo taking a break
Love how this tree split the rock

Not sure what other parts of the country are like for XC running loops.  from what I have seen in NH, they are very simple at the public school level.  St. Paul’s being a $45,000 a year private high school, can afford a little better though.  Their whole course is a beautifully manicured crushed stone.  While it might not be as exciting as real trail running, it does make me a bit jealous.  I would have loved to run on something like what you see below while in high school.

Check out the "trail"

Forecast for the rest of the week looks seasonably warm and relatively dry.  I get this sneaking suspicion that when it does finally snow, it is going to be a doozy.

Thanks for reading.

-Pete

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