Sunday, February 10, 2013

Finding Nemo – by Bicycle

Winter storm Nemo hit like a bad Clint Eastwood speech the last two days, blowing full force in the Valley. We got nearly two feet of snow in less than 24 hours. People were talking about the Blizzard of '78, but I lived through that Blizzard, I sledded in that Blizzard, and winter storm Nemo, you're no Blizzard of '78.

Sorry... Political flashbacks...

I was eagerly planning to find out what it's like to cross-country ski in howling, snowy winds yesterday, but I ended up spending much of the weekend fighting off the cold that Mrs. V was suffering from all week. Instead, I entertained myself by cooking a special meal for last night. Not a bad way to beat cabin fever, though it sadly added calories instead of subtracting.

Today, I felt a bit better, so I ventured out to the big farm field next door on my skis. Unfortunately, all I could manage to do was post-hole my way around the meadow one time. Exhausting and not fun; no gliding going on at all.

So, I popped back in the house, changed into hiking boots, and hit the road (though not literally, despite plentiful snow and ice) on the all-season, all-terrain, all-awesome Salsa Vaya -- these days featuring the Sport Package: full fenders, lights, and rack.

Before I knew it, I was off in search of Nemo... or its aftermath, at least. My 35 mm Kenda Small Block Eights were enough to keep me upright (with a few intentional pounds lower PSI than usual), and there was no shortage of gorgeous winter views. The weather was very cooperative -- 32 degrees with a warm sun and stark blue skies, saturated with winter intensity. First sighting: a classic Hadley tobacco barn, all decked out in dress whites for the occasion. (Tobacco used to be a cash crop around here, before the anti-smoking days.)

Next, a more traditional barn, with the residential towers of UMass Amherst rising like sentinels in the background. 

It wasn't a long ride, since I didn't want to risk my health, but after two full days trapped in the house (literally, since our plow guy didn't get here until mid-morning today) it was very, very welcome.

Don't let winter stop you having fun. Be persistent, and be willing to compromise. You don't have to be out for hours to feel the good of it. To quote the megagazillion-dollar coporation and their genius marketing guys: "Just Do It."


kris said...

winter should be for enjoying - and your pictures are beautiful

Velosopher said...

Thanks, Kris!