Sunday, January 13, 2008


When Decembruary shut down riding with the sudden arrival of full winter conditions, Nordic skiers rejoiced and switched from dry land activities. Now northern New England introduces a new month, Jarch. It's just like March, only with less daylight. At night the temperature has barely dropped below freezing, if at all, while daytime highs in the north have hovered either side of 40. Some days have been much warmer, especially in the southern part of New Hampshire.

Warm days have eaten back the snowbanks so a lot of the drainage water that filled the biking portion of many roads can now flow off into the ditch. There's still a lot of snow in the woods, but less encroaching on the road.

My schedule has kept me in the car or at work, so I have not ridden. A snowstorm for tomorrow means I probably won't, either. But someone could, and no doubt many did.

Last week I went five days without exercise. By yesterday morning I cared about nothing but getting out onto the ski trails. Either that or get out the flamethrower. If I go too long without maintaining some semblance of fitness I just want a death ray, and I don't much care whether I use it on someone else or myself.

Knowing that I turn into a miserable son of a bitch when I don't exercise does not make me apologetic or ashamed to be so. It's better than reaching for some chemical stimulant. The urgent desire to be fit and active is a completely natural compulsion. It is the animal self advising the civilized self that your body needs to move or die.

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