Friday, January 8, 2010

First Tracks

In my former Ski Bum life, First Tracks were everything. Ripping untouched pow, in the trees or out in the open was always the pinnacle experience. I distinctly remember the day they would open the "backside" of the mountain at the Ski Area. 10-50 souls would show up early and stand in line at the high speed quad on the front side. Inevitably the skiers had an advantage on the traverse to the second lift but the boarders usually were fearless enough to stay in the hunt. Another lift ride up the mid mountain lift and a short traverse and we were there, blissfully bouncing through waist-deep snow; shamelessly giggling and howling as we ripped our first deep turns of the year.

Now that I live in Nashville, First Tracks has taken on an entirely different meaning. It snows here so seldom that the schools shut down days in advance in preparation for the 1/2 in. of snowfall. I knew the trails would be empty so I headed for my favorite trail this afternoon and got some First Tracks of my own. Cycling bliss. It's the simple things. That and trying not to think about how much more epic it would be to be hiking the ridge at Wolf Creek...

Tomorrow I'll be in Chattanooga racing for $185 in prize money at the first Cross-A-Nooga, my last cyclocross race of the season.  This season's been completely different than last; I think 'cross came along at just the right time for me last year and this year's been about letting go of expectations and gaining perspective.  Around Thanksgiving I decided that I was done "training" and that I was going to spend my energy doing.  It was a realization I was bound to come to eventually, aided nicely by Bike Snob NYC and Steevo's incredible Xtranormal Videos:

So it is with a heavy heart I prepare for my final race of the season. By prepare I mean pack my gear and don't drink too much beer, which is infinitely simpler than the previous plan which involved all kinds of dumb rituals. The good news is that the end of Cyclocross season signals the beginning of Ski Season. "To every thing... there is a season... and a time to every purpose under heaven." Or something like that.

1 comment:

Mike said...

cool photo with the snow, trial, and bike.