Friday, March 07, 2008

What about spring?

Coincidentally, two decades ago at this time of year I was just coming out of my first full winter up here and starting to train for the double century I planned for the summer solstice of 1988. The winter had been moderate, though full of exciting mountain activity. The snow had already started to recede from the roadsides.

The magazine I had moved north to work for was obviously going down the tubes. After repeated bouncing paychecks, the staff had all walked out. I followed the first rule of the working class cyclist: when unemployed, train hard.

Road training isn't happening this year. Walls of snow hem in all the minor roads. They'll be around for awhile. Our local conservation commission won't be able to have the usual Earth Day roadside cleanup because we won't be able to get at most of the roadsides by then.

I usually start bike commuting as soon as I rotate back to Wolfe City. Even that is in question, as the Jackson touring center may try to keep flogging it until late April instead of the beginning of the month. More than half of the last eight years, we haven't even made it to April. And it's traditional that consumer interest usually ends at least a week before we pull the plug up there.

Ski conditions will deteriorate long before the road look inviting or the trails are even visible. Maybe I'll have to go for an hour slog on slush-shoes before heading to work between the end of skiing and the beginning of practical riding.

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