Sam and I spent the warmer part of last fall in Pennsylvania, building mountain bike trails with Dirt Artisans at Jake’s Rocks. We returned home late October, and were able to fit in some awesome rides to enjoy the last few perfect mountain biking weather days before the dreaded Daylight Savings hit.
Riding shot courtesy of Nathan Shearer...Mountain top celebration shot courtesy of Elizabeth Spencer...
And then it was dark. At five pm. With temperatures dropping! But then, Salsa took us to California for a big dose of sunshine, mountains, and a photo shoot.
After our West Coast solar revival, we were back in Virginia for the holidays, with some cross-country skiing trips at Whitegrass Resort in West Virginia to ring in the New Year.
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Spencer...
Sam works at Massanutten Resort in the winters, grooming the ski slopes and building the terrain parks. His schedule is busy, with early mornings! But he has been getting some good riding in too.
In November, I started working with GiddyUp Courier, a bike messenger service out of Pro Tested Gear in Harrisonburg. Fast action food delivery via bike with the occasional “caught delivering in the poultry processing plant when the fire drill goes off” adventure.. aka fantastic winter training plan now without chicken.. My shifts are usually 30-40 miles of riding, spent on my carbon hardtail - the perfect commuter.
I’m very lucky right now. I’m not in school, my jobs are awesome, our rent is cheap, and we live in the east coast “Mecca” of mountain biking. It won’t always be this easy, so I figure I should take advantage of this time to focus on riding strong and having a lot of fun in 2018.
Between delivery and pleasure rides, I’m able to get out quite a bit. Time in the saddle, 4-5 pilates or yoga classes, and a gym visit a week during the cold time will hopefully set me up nicely for the warm time! I’ve been on my Warbird for road and gravel rides, and on my Redpoint in the forest. My friends and I have gotten out for some fabulous rides so far this cold season, and were lucky to have a random weekend of 50 degree weather recently - thus explaining the photos of us with bare arms!
Photo courtesy of Harlan Price...
I’m spoiled, because even though I have the time to ride, and I have the warmest 45NRTH riding boots of all time, I still whine about cold weather. Motivating to ride isn’t always easy in the dark freezing time. Wearing your nicest gear or packing twice the ride food sometimes isn’t enticing enough. But it’s always better once you get out the door, and it’s always the best to come home after doing something that you had to push yourself to accomplish. The reminder of your body’s and brain’s capabilities to do a physical feat is always more meaningful when it was cold, too. So here’s to winter adventures by bike!!
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I love spending time on a bike in beautiful places with my friends. I enjoy challenging myself with technical mountain biking and some racing, but the main reason I ride is to adventure in the mountains surrounding my hometown in the Shenandoah Valley. I look for trails with some history, either because they were CCC projects, or are old logging access roads since made into singletrack trails. Getting to pretty overlooks only accessible by bike or foot is always satisfying, and sharing those moments with all levels of riders and friends is very special.