general moosling snow

The boy learns to ski

So, it’s not entirely true. He already knew how to ski. But his downhill skiing has improved dramatically this season. Cross-country skiing not so much, as we haven’t gotten out doing much as a family. He has been doing the Jackrabbits junior skiing program though, which he really enjoyed – a group of 6-8 four-year olds out wandering the trails and playing games:

He’s also been heading to ski lessons at Sunshine Village while Alex works. End result? He can now happily ski green runs!

We went out for a ski together, and it was so much fun that my enthusiasm for skiing has actually been renewed (at least a little).

We caught the gondola back down again with a friend, and they shared ‘happy snacks’ (I think most would call them chips).

And he even got a report card! I give him three years at most before he’s out-skiing me.

bikes canada general moosling snow

The February of warmth, melting snow, and suspicion

When we weren’t sitting around eyeing weather forecasts suspiciously (“Surely it’s going to get cold again some time soon?!”), much of February was spent riding bikes from the left of frame towards the right:

The Prospector trail in Exshaw was alarmingly dry… and we spent more time trying to get the boy to pedal his trail-a-bike. And going on random explorations (in-between working on renovations… which are, by the way, a fantastic way to eat up every moment of your spare time).

There was some more skiing, as we gradually came to terms with the fact that there might not be a long nordic ski season this year. At least Moraine Lake Road still had snow!

And the Nordic Centre is always fun, slush and warmth are preferable to -25oC and windy as far as I’m concerned.

Also, jumping is fun.

Winter Carnival in Canmore came and went with a whimper – the pile of snow on the street kept trying to melt, even with extra snow being brought in to shore it up. The toboggan slope was great fun though.

And then the boy’s run bike was passed on to the next generation of biking toddler.

All of which serves to remind me that I really need to remember to take my proper camera a little more often, instead of relying on my phone camera.

bikes canada general

January catch-up

So, time has been escaping from me – somehow it’s the end of March now, and I have posted no words or images here since January. Possibly I no longer exist. In an attempt to fool you though, here are the some of the things I claim to have done in the rest of January.

Banff Mountain Madness Relay – The relay had been wildly shortened thanks to the un-seasonal melting of the Bow River, but we were still out to defend our honour as reigning champions. Sadly our first relay member crashed badly on the horrendously icy slopes of Mount Norquay. We ended up racing the rest of the relay legs anyway, telling ourselves that we wouldn’t bother to try too hard. We’re the kind of idiots who can’t help ourselves once we put a race bib on though, and so despite the fact we had already DNFed (Did Not Finish) we pushed ourselves as hard as we could. Fun times. We’ll be back next year to win that trophy again! (Although our skier has now been forbidden to do the ski leg)

Lunch break skiing!

Back in the optimistic days on January when we still assumed the snow coverage at the Nordic Centre would get better.

And then I bought a fat bike. There was much trialling of options, and long lunch rides in the snow, but eventually a deal came along in the form of a 2nd-hand white Salsa Mukluk, and I couldn’t resist. We’ve been out adventuring together through January and February, although as March has rolled around, it seems the snow has already melted.

canada general

Grizzly Ultra race report

At 50km, the Grizzly Ultra is barely an ultra-marathon. Which just goes to show how perspectives change – when you’ve started hearing all about other people who are out doing 300km+ trail races, 50km barely seems any sort of distance. Which isn’t the best mind set to fall into.

Despite having the best of intentions when I signed up for this race, I managed to yet again fail to train properly. I definitely got in a lot of long, slow runs, but apparently that wasn’t enough, and I really did need to get in some more shorter runs that actually involved some running.

I was noticing reticence on the downhills even just 15km into the race, and by the time I’d hit 30km, there was no doubt about it. My knees were unhappy, no part of my legs wanted to hammer down hills. Or on the flat really. They were vaguely accepting of hills, but mostly they were trying to convince me I should just go and lie down, and pulling out of the race early wouldn’t be such a bad idea. I told them to shut up, and tried to ignore their whiny complaints. Because there was nothing serious going wrong there, it was just a case of legs going “Waah, we’re tired, this hurts, we don’t like it, we’re hungry, are we there yet?”

So apart from that, I did actually manage to have fun. The first leg I ran with Lincoln, before he disappeared into the distance like a lanky mountain goat. Then I came across other people to chat to. Or to harass with my terrifying race outfit. Here I am, endeavoring to look as threatening as possible as I leap across the finish line.

After which I sat down for some time.

Distance: About 51.5km
Elevation gain: ~1450m
Time: 5hr32:30 (40 seconds slower than last year, 13 minutes slower than 2012, grrr!)

bikes canada general

24 Hours of Adrenalin 2014

Another year of riding with one of the teams from work – Go Team!

After all the setting up, and excitement, and hoards of lycra-clad fools running in bike shoes, it was back to the same old rhythm of sit and wait. And cheer. And eat food. And catch up with people. And get ready.

I was up third in the team order this time round. The weather was ok. A bit warm and dusty during the day, but a little rain late in the night and early in the morning settled the dust down.

By the time each of us had done one lap, we had settled into second place in our category. By the end of the night we had even more definitely settled into second place. First was out of reach, with quite a few riders who could put down faster times than us. We were equally comfortably ahead of the third place team though. As a result, the whole thing was a lot less tense than last year, where we were hanging onto first place by just minutes. It also helped that the race hadn’t come on the back of one month of fairly intense flood disaster and recovery.

Thanks to the quirks of fate (involving peanut butter cookies, and perhaps insufficient peanut butter cookies) I ended up riding five of the 22 laps our team finished with. But thanks to the lack of immediate competition, I got to slack off a little on my last lap, so this year I was able to walk around and function like a normal person-coloured human being when I was finally done.

No tragedy, no drama, just a fun bike race. And I didn’t win the slowest lap award this year!