Well it finally snowed last week! We also had some record highs last week, but I prefer to focus on the return of winter. Oh and we’re supposed to be getting quite a bit of snow in the mountains tonight. Hopefully this means winter will be sticking around. Before I start on how much fun fat biking in the snow is, I want to take a moment to add a little bit to my recent post about winter mindset.
It seems as the days get shorter many people are suffering from a lack of motivation. You can’t go on a run in your “house clothes”, which is something I do frequently in the summer since I work from home – usually in “running” clothes. Sometimes there’s snow, ice, or mud on the road, trail, whatever you decide to run on. Sometimes when it’s really cold the air hurts every single part of your body from your frozen nose and ears, raspy dry throat, achy hands and feet, and the cold sweat freezing down your back. I get it – winter makes outdoor activities more challenging.
But something else happens during winter. The days get shorter. At least for me, there is a feeling of “if I don’t get outside right now then it won’t happen” so I get outside and do something. Recently that something has been a ride on my fat bike, but it also includes walks with Moose, hikes, runs, or just some easy yoga on my balcony. In the summer there are hours and hours of daylight to go adventuring so the immediacy isn’t there. It’s much easier to push things off until “later” in the summer, knowing there are seemingly endless hours of playtime, than it is in the winter, when darkness falls fast and furiously. So I find the little moments throughout the day to get outside and get my daily dose of Vitamin D. It usually involves a combination of morning/afternoon runs with Moose, midday bike rides, and occasionally mid-afternoon walks/hikes. Carpe diem as they say.
Anyways, on to the good stuff. Like I said earlier, it SNOWED last week. It was only a couple of inches in town but it was enough for Hellga’s inaugural snow ride. If you didn’t know, Hellga is my fat bike. While it was still snowing on Thursday I took her out for a quick spin but only had time for a few miles around my house. The roads and bike paths were all snowy so the fact that I only managed about a mile on dirt didn’t make me too upset. I had a little too much pressure in my tires and it was a messy ride, but it was SO FUN! Even with a soaking wet behind because I forgot to put on my rear fender I was in heaven!
The next day the skies were blue and the forecasted high was 40 degrees. Snow melts at any temperature here if the sun is shining so I knew I had to get out early if I wanted to take advantage of the snow. I headed straight for the actual trails this time and only had to ride 1.5 miles of road (roundtrip) out of my 9.5 mile ride. Again I didn’t have a ton of time but I also didn’t want to take it too fast since I didn’t really know how Hellga would handle. The worrying was for naught and she handled beautifully but I’m still glad I took it slow. She was kicking up dirt and ice balls into my face and every single piece of clothing I was wearing needed to go directly into the wash when I got home. Even with all the mess, it was so much fun. This new-found love of fat biking is definitely a dangerous thing. I’m already dreaming up adventures to take Hellga and Jason on (as soon as Jason’s fat bike finally gets here). The balance is easy because I still believe there is no better way to start my day than with a run, but my running miles are decreasing and my biking miles are increasing. Luckily I’m defining balance based on time spent on different sports and not miles!