Friday, February 11, 2011

on your left

Okay, so the deal with my coach and with myself for the 2011 race season was that I find a way to ride in the basement a few times a week and that I'll go outside and get into the wind like once a week.  in the winter.  during ski season.

So... today, I found myself out on the road.  I miss the trails.  Not loving it even though I've got my awesome Santa Cruz rebuilt for road training again.  (Too?) warmly dressed on a brisk 39 degree day.

**Aside: I haven't found the perfect extremities staying warm situation for this intermediate temperature.  So I had on light wool socks and winter boots to keep my feet warm.  But the lobster gloves just induce sweat.  Anything lighter that I've tried, though, just means I'm trying to ride and curl my fingers up into my palms at the same time.  Don't try that at home.**

Sunny, but black ice and piles of snow lurked on the shoulders.  Everyone else gets to ride socially during the winter.  Building base miles in group rides on the weekend.  But, I am not everyone else and weekends aren't for riding - they're for sliding.  So I wind up riding solo in the middle of the days in the middle of the weeks.

So it's just me.  Solo on the road.  Thinking about life, ski instructor exams, my career, how much harder it is to ride outside than on the low-resistance rollers in the basement.  How much easier at the same time.  No podcast or audio book or bad rap music necessary.

I hear "on your left" and literally almost jump two feet off my bike.  Okay, not actually, but I definitely jumped.  The guy flying up the hill behind me was going so fast that he had to call it before I heard his bike.  That's what happens when you expect to be the only one on the road.

Monday, February 7, 2011

my feet hurt

Okay, they don't hurt badly, but it's been warm and I've been in my boots 9 out of the past 10 days.  I'm not really sure how that works and I'm certain that it means I'll pull a couple of long days at work this week to get caught up with my flies.  When it's warm, my feet swell a bit and rub in places they shouldn't.  I also have discovered that my sunscreen is outdated (i.e. doesn't work well anymore) and I need to acquire some new.

I've been out on the road with PSIA - understudying and administering an exam then some more understudying.  And then back at Liberty for a full weekend - complete with dinner in the tavern with some divas and getting our lessons planned so we could leave soon after our shift was over.  Oh, and I've been volunteering so that I can teach more beginner skiers. 

Turns out I love teaching beginners.  I can only hope that the people in my groups have as much fun as I do.  Lots of success with them this weekend.  On Saturday - it was in the (light) rain.  Nothing like volunteering at a rainy lineup to feel like you're contributing!

A rodeo rider in my group (seriously! - he was from Mexico City) crashed all the time but was thrilled with it.  Another young woman was checking skiing off of her bucket list.  She went sky-diving last weekend. 

A family of three was learning together - snowboarding didn't stick.  Church group friends were making fun of each other and making near-parallel turns.

A 10 year old asked me if I knew much about skiing.  She announced she didn't know anything and could I please teach her.  A timid woman just "got it".

My groups were cheering for each others' successes this weekend.  It was pretty cool.  I also watched at least 3 of them forget to get off the lift and trip the stop gate (on separate occasions).  Whoops.

But - scary moments too.  An instructor in my clinic group fell this weekend and wound up with a concussion.  I think I'm getting a road ID to wear while skiing.  Watching the staff work to get contact information is motivating that decision.  They had his cell phone, all the numbers in the HR office and his 8 year old son was with him in the ski patrol room.  What if he left his cell in his bag and was at a resort he didn't work at?  Thankfully, he only spent a night under observation, but won't be on skis again this month.