The Beauty of Winter


If you want to see, you have to look ...

By Tim Ek

Throughout my adult life, I’ve resisted winter’s arrival and have spent too much time calculating when it would be over. I’ve taken almost yearly tropical vacations with the hope that somehow the trip would ease the pain of winter’s icy grip. This year I wanted things to be different. There’d be no week in Jamaica, and I’d fight the urge to flip through the pages of my desk calendar counting the weeks until the temps would climb. This year I’d commit to winter!

Well, in order to commit, I’d need to find something to keep me invested. Yes, I’d commute all winter like I have for so many years now—that wouldn’t change. I’d train like I do during the "dark months" with the goal of dropping a few pounds and catching up on some T. shows while mindlessly spinning the trainer. However, this year something emerged that was different. At first I attributed it to my newly obtained Salsa Blackborow, thinking that the bike had changed my approach to winter. I don’t know; maybe it had, or maybe it was simply the vehicle that helped to open my eyes.

Beautiful Blackborow ...

All I can say for sure is that this winter I’ve been paying more attention. I’ve seen more than the singletrack unfolding before my front wheel. I’ve picked my head up and looked through the trees and into the forest, searching for what my Dad taught me, "the thing that stands out." It worked! I began to see the deer leering at me as I pedaled past. I’ve smiled up at the crows cawing at me from above as I move through their neighborhood. I’ve stopped to gape at the hurried life of the chickadees as they fulfill their daily calorie needs, wondering if they ever just stop to play. So much life in what at first glance seemed so dead.

As my legs spin easy and my hands rest lightly on the bars, I realize that the beauty of winter only reveals itself to those who want to see. I’m so glad I decided to look.

It's almost March—the Golden Hour of winter is upon us ...

This post filed under topics: Blackborow Explore Fatbike Mountain Biking Tim Ek

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Tim (Eki) Ek

Tim (Eki) Ek

Tim Ek was born and raised in Duluth, Minn., and still calls it home. He’s always had a passion for competition and seeking his own extremes. Tim's true love is the woods: Out in the wild is where he clears his head and finds his peace, and he prefers getting there by bike. Tim Ek: The Eki Chronicles,


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Gwynn Lyell | February 27th, 2016

Tim, winter rocks for those of us that take the only take the time to ride, look around and enjoy. I like seeing all the things that are alive during winter, Chickadees, Owls, Foxes, Vultures and many other of the other inhabitants we are this rock with. I especially love seeing that some plants stay green all winter, some of the small mosses and then what I consider the true leader into spring, Skunk Cabbage. What an odd plant it flowers in the winter and puts out its leaves in the spring and early summer.

But I often find many of my rides year round delayed by my just stopping watching, listening and just enjoying nature in all her splendor. My current favorite ride is my El Mariachi rigid single speed. There is something about its simplicity, sorta like just being out there in nature away from the rush and clutter of everyday life.

Keep riding, keep enjoying the ride.

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Gwynn Lyell III | October 19th, 2016


i wold like to ride the Kanza, someday. At 65, soon to be 66, i have doubts. Id like to start small/er and wonder what you would recommend.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | October 20th, 2016

Gwynn - Take a look at the Dirty Kanza event website and you’ll see that they also have a 50-miler and 100-miler. Great way to try out their terrain, be part of the event, and enjoy the experience they offer.

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