day 328: serainity
While I am more than ready to see some sun and blue skies, I have to confess that there is a certain tranquility to riding in a soft rain. I love the smell of the damp fields, the quiet windless-ness, the mist hanging over the hills. Once I get past my initial reluctancy to be out in it, and get warmed up and used to the damp feeling against my skin, it’s a beautiful time to ride.
in a pickle(!)
Winding down, the last few days of #330daysofbiking, and I find myself “in a pickle”, so to speak. Nothing to do with my bikes or cycling, but rather my camera. While I am not exactly camera-less, my favorite camera, my best camera, my DSLR … has died.
From the symptoms and error message code, it appears the shutter has reached the end of its expected lifespan. While only the Canon techs can tell me the exact shutter count, I anticipated that I was probably past-due for this to happen. This camera has been a real workhorse, and while very well-loved, it has also survived an incredible amount of abuse. In fact, I debated getting another camera body for the Italy trip at one point, as I really didn’t want to risk technical failure on that trip. Fortunately, I’ve gotten through the past months without any problems … until now.
So, I have sent her off to the camera hospital and will hopefully have a diagnosis/prognosis by the end of the week. Sadly, it seems that everyone is temporarily out of stock on the same camera body (by itself), if I come to the point I need to shop for a replacement. And as much as I’m tempted to move up to a full-sensor body, there are too many features on the 7D (mostly fps) that I would have a hard time living without. Forgive my rambling.
I guess I had just looked forward to finishing up #330daysofbiking with some really nice spring shots, with the camera that is so familiar and so comfortable to me that it’s almost like another appendage. Yes, I get carried away with this stuff.
For now, the weather has been rather grey and dismal in recent days – a little bit like my mood. Hopefully the sun will re-appear very soon …. Today was day 327. Three days to go.
back to the bike
The week has gone from cold-ish and grey requiring jackets and gloves, to warm and sunny with flip-flops and sleeveless shirts. Such is March. And it has been back on the bike with, well, perhaps some renewed enthusiasm – although I still have snow on the brain.
The big excitement of the week:
- having Dillon home for spring break and getting to ride with him (although he is much too fast for me these days)
- seeing the publication of several of my photos, including the cover photo, for VBT‘s 2011 Italy Bike/Walking Vacations catalog (and yes, with permission and compensation – thank you, Chaipel)
- coconut cupcakes 😀 #FTW!
For #330daysofbiking, I have reached Day 316. Two weeks (?!) to go ….
the snow excuse
To the people who have known me best over the course of my life, they know with little doubt where my first love lies – on the snow, on skis, in the mountains. As much as I am passionate about cycling, and as much as it has become such a big part of my life, there is nothing I love more than being on skis on a cold sunny day on top of a big mountain. Nothing. Period. (Apologies to my beloved bicycles.)
A little background … my father decided put me on skis when I was a pre-schooler, and I still have fond memories of first lessons in the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico before I was even able to read. My dad became a National Ski Patrolman in the midwest where I grew up, which enabled us to ski virtually every day during winter. I grew up racing and eventually became a ski instructor. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to ski in the summer for several years, when I shipped off to summer race-training camps on the high mountain glaciers each June.
Skiing was a huge part of my life, of my family’s life … and despite ending up living in the snowless Southeast and raising my own family, the passion continues with my own boys, who have become incredible skiers in their own right – learning to ski in North Carolina, and skiing each year in the Rockies. They have become skilled enough to ski everything on the mountain – from the trees to the double-black diamond chutes.
So what does any of this have to do with biking? Well for me, it appears that this crazy obsession/diversion of the trip to the mountains has managed to derail #330daysofbiking. Since I managed not to get in a single day of cycling while out West, it appears I will be two days short of meeting my goal by April 1. Rats. But I just couldn’t help myself – the lure of the snow and the mountains was just too irresistible to do anything other than ski. It’s my only excuse.
Despite this “failure” – and it is disappointing, because I was so close – I think it was good to have the interruption for sake of perspective. Maybe it was good to get off the bike for a few days and revisit another passion with the people I love.
Someday I hope that we will be living in a place where I can set another (silly) goal – one that would look something like #100daysofskiing-and-#300daysofbiking. Load the ski equipment onto the Xtracycle and pedal to the mountain for a day on the slopes. (Although I might have to add in a #30daysofcupcakes and #100daysofknitting just to round things out 😉 ).
For now, I have a renewed enthusiasm to be on my bike again, and the quest continues to finish #330daysofbiking one way or another. Since I can only blame my weakness for snow for the lack of cycling in recent days, I’m leaving a few last pictures from the mountains. Sigh.
We’ve had some crazy weather. From warm, sunny and balmy to torrential wind and rain. And a couple of tornados in the area, unfortunately. Timing is everything – getting out before the bad stuff takes over. Riding in some rain is one thing, riding through destructive wind and hail is another … and definitely not for me.
On Monday I decided to head out early in the morning for my ride – mostly because I had to make a trip into Chattanooga, and I knew the rain was coming. It was grey, gloomy and windy and I road less than 3 miles before turning around and heading in. The wind gusts were nuts.
Later in the day, on my return trip from Chattanooga, I made what I expected to be a quick stop at the shopping mall. While I was inside, the worst of the storm hit. Hearing some frightening reports from a few salespeople in side, I decided to just hang out inside until the whole mess blew over. When I finally decided to leave, I was pretty shocked to see the damage – several big light poles had toppled, a couple of glass doors had been shattered by wind gusts.
One of the toppled light poles landed on top of four parked cars and did considerable damage. Fortunately, not on top of mine. Recent news reports have stated that there were 2 tornado touch-downs in the greater Chattanooga area, and while I don’t think the mall was officially hit, it may have been close.
Since then, the weather has been stunning – sunny and warm, still a little gusty but nothing like Monday. While I’m enjoying the balmy days, I must confess that I am giddy over the prospect of being in snow again and doing some skiing in the mountains for a few days . 🙂
So until I return, here are a few less-snowy pics from recent days of springtime.
And for the record, today marks Day 307 of #330daysofbiking, 28 days remain.